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Series Japanese Natural History : Three-Dimensional Paper Architectural Models

Series Japanese Natural History : Three-Dimensional Paper Architectural Models / Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 16   September 13, 2005 (Tue) - October 23, 2005 (Sun)

  
Model of Ginkaku Jishoji's Togudo in Higashiyama, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)

From the Edo period, showing building layouts by using three-dimensional models flourished. To create the models, ground plans were drawn on a piece of thick paper, then paper showing details of the inside and outside walls were attached, creating a three-dimensional model. Usually, the models were stored flat, but by connecting tabs and erecting the walls, the paper models became freestanding structures that could also have ceilings and roofs added to complete the desired effect.

The three-dimensional models functioned to properly show complicated details, especially in small rooms such as tea rooms. On a much larger scale than tea rooms, the layout of castles were drawn on thin paper, making it difficult to make them stand by themselves. However, they serve as excellent examples and preserve the record of the plans.

The three-dimensional models started featuring the entranceways to tea rooms, windows, alcoves and furniture. Later, details were expanded to include measurements and materials used for the walls and pillars, while hedges and gates, studies, lavatories, parlors and others were also carefully drawn. These models function to display the aesthetic sensibility that renowned tea masters, such as Sen no Rikyu, applied to their tea houses.

 Major works in this exhibition

* Works listed below are in the TNM Collection unless otherwise indicated.
Model of Karakasa-chaya in Kodaiji Temple, Edo period, 19th century
Model of Myokian in Yamazaki, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)
Model of Ginkaku Jishoji's Togudo in Higashiyama, Edo period, 19th century (Gift of Mr. Tokugawa Muneyoshi)
Model of Mihara Castle in Mitsugi-gun, Bingo Province, dated 1886