Posted in 英語力強化, 英語学習


ご興味のある方は、当サイトで 英語クイズ(5000問)を出題しておりますので是非ご覧ください。



Traditional Japanese houses are basically made of wood and paper.

Traditional Japanese houses are made of wood and the structure of the house is built with wooden posts, beams, and girders on a stone foundation.

In Japan, as temperature and humidity vary in the four seasons, many techniques are exercised in building houses so that they can adjust to the changeable climate.

For example, rooms are set 20−30 cm above the ground, flooring rush mats (tatami) cover floors of wooden boarding, and shoji (sliding paper door) and fusuma (sliding paper screen) are used as partitions.

The outer wall is made by plastering a wooden base.

Tatami and plaster are suitable for the Japanese climate because they control humidity by absorbing and releasing moisture.

Japan is hot and humid in summer, cold in winter, has a rainy season, and is dry in fall. Japanese houses are built with all kinds of tricks in mind to adapt to the local climate.

Tatami is a traditional Japanese mat made of bundled rice straw with a surface of woven rushes. Trimming called “tatami-beri” is stitched to the edges.

Tatami is a type of mat used to cover the floor in a Japanese-style room called “washitsu.”

Tatami is made of compressed rice straw covered with woven rushes and attached with brocade or nylon to the long edges.

Tatami mat is made of rice straw bundled in layers that are stitched together, and the surface is covered with tightly woven rushes.

Tatami consists of a thick straw base called “tatami-doko” and a soft, finely woven rush cover with cloth borders.

Rug-like tatami are mentioned in Kojiki, but it is said that tatami have been shaped like they are now since around the Heian period.

The size of a tatami mat varies slightly by region in Japan, but a standard tatami mat is about 1.8 meters by 0.9 meters or about 5.9 feet by 3.0 feet.

In Japan, the size of a room is often measured by the number of tatami mats, and one “jo” (畳) is the size of one tatami mat.

“Jo” (畳) is used to calculate room size by referring to how many tatami mats will fit in a room.

“Jo” (畳) is used as a counter to determine the size of rooms.

A four-and-a-half-mat room is a square room with its origins in the tea ceremony.

You don’t wear shoes or slippers on the tatami floor.


障子も襖も sliding paper door 「紙の引き戸」で表せますが、お部屋の仕切りの意味で使う場合は screen を使います。

Shoji is a sliding screen made of latticed wood into which white Japanese paper is pasted.

Shoji is a sliding door made of a wooden latticework frame on which Japanese paper is pasted and used as a room divider or as a window shade.

It is used not only as a door but also to partition rooms.
(ドアだけでなくお部屋の仕切りとしても使われます。→ この partition は「仕切る」という動詞です)

Shoji is a sliding screen with wood latticework built into a rectangular wooden frame and pasted with Japanese paper.

Shoji is a sliding door, window or room divider used in a traditional Japanese room, consisting of translucent paper stretched over a wooden lattice frame.

Shoji is a sliding screen used in a traditional Japanese room, consisting of Japanese papers on a lattice frame.

Even when shoji are closed, soft light flows/comes through the shoji paper.

Shoji paper pasted on the latticework enables light to penetrate by moderately blocking direct sunlight.

A moderate amount of light comes in through the shoji paper in the daytime, and the inside can not be seen from the outside.

Shoji is ideal for the climate in Japan because it has the ability to control the level of humidity in homes and prevents condensation from forming on the windows during winter.


a sliding door covered with thick paper on a wooden frame

Fusuma are fittings made by covering both sides of wooden frames with durable Japanese paper.

Fusuma are wooden panels about the same size as a tatami mat and 3 cm thick, covered with durable paper.

They are used to partition flooring tatami mat rooms and as doors for closets (oshiire).

Unlike shoji, fusuma gives rooms more privacy than shoji would allow.

The beautiful designs and paintings on this paper create a superb interior.


「床の間」は、alcove を使えばどういう空間なのかイメージしてもらえます。

  • wooden-floored alcove in a tatami room
  • raised alcove in a Japanese room

alcove は、室内の壁面に作られたくぼみ または 外側に張り出して作られた付属的な小部屋で、日本の床の間は大体半畳から一畳くらいですが、海外の alcove はかなり広い場合もあります。

“Tokonoma” is a space in a tatami room that is a step higher than the rest of the room and has a wooden floor.

Tokonoma is a raised alcove in a tatami room in which items are displayed for artistic appreciation.

Tokonoma alcove is about the size of one or a half tatami and is set into one wall of Japanese-style rooms.

Tokonoma is a place to hang scrolls or display items such as ikebana (flower arrangements), bonsai (potted trees), a favored piece.

Flowers, scrolls, or ornaments are displayed in the tokonoma.

It was originally considered a sacred place in which to put a statue of Buddha.

We put “kakejiku” (hanging scrolls) on the wall and display flowers or ornaments on the floor.


Bedding or cushions are stored inside the oshiire.

Oshiire is a closet for sleeping quilts (futon) and seat cushions and is usually a built-in fixture in a tatami room.

Most tatami rooms are provided with one or more built-in closets (oshi-ire) with sliding fusuma doors.


縁側は、narrow wooden deck などと訳されます。

“Engawa” is a corridor with a wooden floor outside of tatami rooms.

Rooms located on the first floor of a traditional Japanese house often have engawa.

As there are projecting eaves above the engawa, it stays dry during rain, even when the sliding doors are open.

Scroll to top