A Guide to Kyoto’s Wooden and Traditional Architecture
Shitajimado (下地窓) is one type of Japanese windows that are most common in Tea Houses, though it’s said that it has its origin in rural farm houses. Shitajimado is the opening on the mudwall, where the lattice framework (usually made of thin bamboo laths) of the wall itself is left exposed. It is one of the featured parts of a Sukiya style Tea House.
Because of its simple construction, shitajimado can be placed just about anywhere on the mudwall, and they can be made into different shapes. While most are rectangular, some are circular or even fan shaped. Given the important role light has in a tea house building, shitajimado is integral in giving each Tea Houses its defining character and expressions.
Here are just two of the tea houses in Kyoto where you can check out some of the shitajimado up close – the rare two storied Shigure-tei (時雨亭) in Kodai-ji (高台寺); and Tanhoku-tei (潭北亭) in Saiho-jo (西芳寺), commonly referred to as the moss temple or Kokedera (苔寺) in Japanese.
Even though Suikoushya International Craft School is now up and running in France, our Kyoto workshop will still continue to operate and we want to welcome you when you’re in Kyoto!