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Architecture since 1400$
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Kathleen James-Chakraborty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816673964

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816673964.001.0001

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Edo Japan

Edo Japan

(p.221) 15 Edo Japan
Architecture since 1400

Kathleen James-Chakraborty

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses architecture during Japan’s Edo period (1603–1867). Japan was already one of the world’s most technologically advanced and urban societies during the period. Urbanization, however, was not accompanied by the creation of monumental architecture, with most Japanese continuing to favor modestly scaled buildings made almost entirely out of wood. The characteristic vernacular Japanese farmhouse, minka, featured thatched roofs; often several stories are set into their high gables. The roofs spread well beyond the house walls, protecting them from rain and snow. By the early seventeenth-century political and social changes led to the advent of new architectural forms that embodied the delicate relationship between the shogun and the emperor, as well as the relative ineffectualness of the imperial family.

Keywords:   architecture, Edo period, Japan, minka, Japanese farmhouse, ridgepoles

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