FUSUMA, A Thousand Years of History

Fusuma (sliding doors) are traditional Japanese fittings with a history of 1,000 years. It is considered to be the culmination of the "Soan Tea Room" created by Sen no Rikyu about 400 years ago.

Heian Period, 794 - 1185

Tale of Genji Picture Scroll (15 paintings/ 28 pages of tect) Azumaya One Painting
Created: Late Heian Period (12th Century)
Held: Tokugawa Reimeikai Foundation "Tokugawa Art Museum"

The original form of the modern "fusuma" (sliding screen) appeared.
Its function is to divide one room from another.

Kamakura-Muromachi Period, 1186 - 1573

Kasuga Gongen Genki E
Created: Late Kamakura Period (early 13th century)
Held: Imperial Household Agency, Museum of the Imperial Collections

This was the period when political power passed from the nobility to the samurai.
The nobility, samurai, and priests gathered frequently, and because things like poetry, tea ceremony, and flower arranging were popular ways of deepening friendship, house construction began to take into account the entertainment of guests.

Azuchi-Momoyama Period, 1573 - 1603

Fusuma Picture
Illustration of flowers and birds: Kano Eitoku, Shoei
 
Also known as the Sengoku Period (Warring States period).
Room configuration and d├ęcor become things that represent the social status and rank of a house.

Tea Room
Daitokuji temple, Jukoin (sub-temple) "Kan-in No Seki"

While there was a fierce struggle for supremacy, Sen no Rikyu created the soan-style tearoom.
The so-called "crawl-through" doorway is too small snough to enter while wearing a sword. It has long been renowned for its advocacy of a "beauty in simplicity" worldview.

Edo Period, 1603 - 1867

Edo Karakami Paper: Tokyomatuya Inc.

The civil war has come to an end, and it is an era of literature, academics, and the arts undergo remarkable development. Sliding screens spread to town houses, with designs changed from the luxurious into something simple that blends into daily life. Numbering thousands, or tens of thousands, the world of colorful "Edo Karakami Patterns" was expanded.

Meiji - Taisho Period, 1867 - 1926

Due to the government's policy of westernization, the direction in the design of the building changed greatly.
Features unique to this period, such as the chandelier hanging from the coffered celling, or the combination of Japanese-style tatami rooms and fireplaces, remain across the county today.

Showa - Heisei Period (1926 - 2016)

Photograph (Up): Modern Japanese home
Photograph (Below): Harima Industrial Co., Lrd. factory interior


Mass production and homogenization were achieved through technological innovation.
The character of sliding screens has changed from works of art that decorated the mansions of the aristocracy to practical goods in the homes of the common people.

2020 and Beyond

The construction of new homes has declined dramatically due to Japan's falling population. Japanese-style rooms and sliding screens, part of the culture of the traditional rarities. It is said to be a very difficult time for sliding screen manufacturers.

But we will continue to make sliding screens. That's because we believe that, not only in Japan, "manufacturing" as traditional culture has the power to express without words that background where "things" are created. Lifestyle and customs, human viewpoints cultivated by history, the way we perceive the world, these and other things are formed depending on the climate, the lay of the land. Through "manufacturing," we aim to contribute to the "understanding" of people around the world.