Machiya : architecture and history of the Kyoto town house

Abstract: Machiya is the term for a traditional house type, a merchantand artisan dwelling found in the cities. The focus of the thesisis on the spatial qualities and technical structure of themachiya in relation to the specific use of the house type. Theaim is to present the complex history of the houses as theydeveloped in Kyoto, Japan, including disciplines such as;economics, sociology, technical history, history of literatureand of aesthetics, religious and philosophical history.Part One presents a theory of why the machiya developed as itdid and how the new social class of merchants and artisansemerged. The early history of the houses is described throughthree kinds of pictorial sources, the emakimono - the 12th-14thcentury scrolls, the Kyoto byobu - the 16th-17th century paintedscreens and the 17th-18th century wood-block printed guide booksof famous sites in the capital. The discrepancy among the machiyahouses are examined and examples of general architecturaldevelopments, such as increasing building height, trussdevelopment, changes in layout, and advances in buildingtechnique and material are discussed.Wedge - This chapter is a study of the transformation ofhigh-class architecture from the aristocratic shinden to thewarrior shoin and the mixture with the ideas around Tea.Artisans’production and merchants trade demanded a certainsocial pattern around business and representation. This partdeals with how the machiya adapted to these architecturalinfluences. As the machiya was the setting for these interactionsa specific architecture was formed.Part Two–This part includes discussions around detaildevelopments in the house type and with the historical usage ofthe house such as business and family systems of the merchantsand artisans, the machiya as a workplace and as a home.Part Three–The final part contains architecturalanalysis of six typical machiya houses.: Machiya, Japanese architecture, Japanese Tea ceremony andmerchant culture, chomin, vernacular architecture, chashitsu, teahouses, town planning, Kyoto, Muromachi, Tokugawa, Japanesehistory, tsuboniwa, courtyard gardens, wooden houses, Japaneseaesthetics, daiku, Kyomachiya, carpenters, architecturalhistory

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