What is Shoji Screen?

23 ––– 01 ––– 2020

When you ask non-Japanese people a question about what the architectural elements are that make them feel the Japanese-ness in a building or a space, you will always get answers like shoji screens or tatami mats. What is so fascinating about the globally well-known shoji screen then?

Since ancient times in Japan, we had fittings such as Fusuma sliding doors and Shoji screens to partition a room. The culture of Fusuma painting was developed from the Fusuma fittings that were created with thick, lightproof papers. On the other hand, shoji screens created by spreading Washi papers over wooden frames, had been loved for long years for their distinctive feature to let the light go pass through themselves. A scene with morning sunlight shining in through shoji screens is very Japanese, and is quite charming as well.

There are many types of shoji screens depending on how you combine different wooden frames with other materials such as glass sheets, etc. The typical shoji screens have rectangular latticework frames with Washi papers put up, but depending on the measurements of the latticework, you can create different shojis, from the traditional ones to the modern-designed one. If you use artistic Kumiko Shoji screens with asymmetrical designs and circles in your room, they will surely improve the grade of your room with their impactful presence.

Today, we have different types of Shoji screens, from simple Shojis that can harmonise with modern rooms, to Shojis that do not require constant maintenance. In the next post, we will introduce such trending Shojis.