Japanese traditional architecture is a distinctive element in the Japanese culture and carries a huge traditional meaning for the people of Japan. Strongly influenced by the Chinese architectural approaches during the Tang dynasty that dominated over Japanese development, the distinctive Japanese architecture has a number of unique features and development process that make it a fascinating form of ancient Asian art. Modern Japanese architecture blends traditional elements like this with modern styles, such as pine furniture, to create a fusion unique to the Japanese.
The Japanese architecture, as mentioned above, has been strongly influenced by the Chinese construction methods. The sharpened edges of the building roofs, the foundations that have been constructed almost perfect from an engineering point of view, the distinctive floors in a building with intersections and simplified decoration elements are just several of the features of the Japanese architectural arts and genius that are still used in the modern construction in Japan.
However, several developments in the Japanese architecture were quite important for its traditional look and fascination. During the Azuchi-Momoyama Period ( 17th-18th century) the Japanese architecture developed two significant constructional approaches so impressive and beautiful that remained a cultural heritage for the world history and irreplaceable part of the Japanese traditions. The castle first appeared in Japan – this first innovation was completely different from a palace, it was a defensive structure to house the ruler and his soldiers and protect them from the militaristic atmosphere of that time – the features are quite revolutionary for the Japanese architecture – the roof formations of every floor, the prolonged room tops, the heavy rock walls and the lack of specific external decoration were the main features of the Japanese castle.
The shoin on the other hand was a small premise for landowners – heavily decorated study, with the typical slide doors and lit spaces designed specially for meetings with the local community. Such premises formed the distinctive Japanese internal design and established a traditional line in the Japanese home decoration – simplicity and reliance on light, little or non additional decoration and significant comfort.
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