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An eight-matted parlour

An eight-matted parlour.jpg A VisitorThumbnailsThe Porch - Open and LatticedA VisitorThumbnailsThe Porch - Open and LatticedA VisitorThumbnailsThe Porch - Open and Latticed

The parlour, the principal room of the house, is always kept tidy. It has an alcove, six feet long by three deep, consisting of a dais, a few inches high, of plain hard wood, which will bear polishing, though a thin matting is sometimes put over it. Not unfrequently, another piece of wood, generally square, forms the outer edge so that the thickness of the floor of the alcove can be concealed. The dais has a special ceiling of its own, or a bit of a wall, of plaster or wood, coming down over it a foot or more from the ceiling. On the dais is set a vase of porcelain or metal, bottle-shaped or flat, in which branches of a tree or shrubs in flower are put in, and on the wall is hung a kakemono, or scroll of picture or writing. These two constitute the main ornament of the room. New flowers are put in every few days and the kakemono is changed from time to time. This is the peculiarity of the kakemono as a piece of house decoration. We do not exhibit all our treasures in kakemono at the same time, but hang them one, two, or three at a time according to the size of the alcove and the kakemono themselves, so that the visitor calling at different seasons may delight his eyes with the sight of fresh pictures or writings each time he calls.

Home Life in Tokyo
Author: Jukichi Inouye
Published: 1910
Available from gutenberg.org