Posts Tagged ‘Architectural Elements’


kanji kakine_Kaki / Fence

Kaki or Kakine is an architectural element that marks area boundaries, and traditionally bamboo is used in Japan.

Design & Style

  • Takho-gaki illustration


    Takeho-gaki is made of bundled bomboo twigs instead of tree twigs. Katsuraho-gaki at Katsuara Imperial Village in Kyoto is the archetype of Takeho-gaki.

  • Shiba-gaki illustration


    Shiba-gaki is made of vertically installed tree twigs with horizontal supports keeping them in place. For preservation and aethetic reasons, simple eaves are sometimes installed on the top.

  • Koetsuji-gaki illustration


    Koetsu-gaki is named after Koetsu-ji Temple in Kyoto and made of bundled split bamboos on the top with round bamboos woving diamond shaped lattice framework to allow views through it.

  • Kennin-ji Gaki illustration


    Kennin-ji-gaki is made of halved or quartered bomboos placed vertically without a gap with horizontally placed bamboos keeping everything in place.

  • Yotsume-gaki illustration


    Yotsume-gaki is the simplest type of bamboo fence, whose horizontal and vertical members form rectangular grids.


  • Koetsu-gaki at Hokoku-ji Temple

    Hokoku-ji in Kamakura

  • Koetsu-gaki at Jomyo-ji Temple

    Jomyo-ji in Kamakura

  • Koetsu-gaki at Ryoan-ji Temple

    Ryoan-ji in Kamakura

  • Shiba-gaki at Ghio-ji Temple

    Ghio-ji in Kyoto

  • Shiba-gaki at Katsura Temple

    Katsura Imperial Palace in Kyoto

  • Takeho-gaki at Katsura Temple

    Katsura Imperial Palace in Kyoto


kanji tatami_Tatami / Mats

A tatami is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese architecture. Tatami mats are traditionally made of a straw core slab with a woven soft rush straw covering. They usually have edging of cloth for decoration and are manufactured in standardized sizes, with aspect ratio of 2:1.


There are four standardized size tatami, called Danchima, Edoma, Chukyoma,and Kyoma in Japan. Even though tatami is less commonly used in modern housing, it is still widely used as a unit of room size, jo. 6 jo(6 mats) Kyoma is much bigger than 6 jo Danchima, and that’s why it is important to understand the difference between them.

Tatami size comparison by type
  • 1.Danchima

    1700 x 850mm Danchiama sized tatami are the standardized size for public housing projects developed during 1970 and 1980s

  • 2.Edoma

    1760 x 880mm Edoma sized tatami are the most commonly used size around Tokyo and beyond.

  • 3.Chukyoma

    1820 x 910mm Chukyoma sized tatami are used mainly in around Aichi prefecture.

  • 4.Kyoma

    1910 x 955mm Kyoma sized tatami are used in the west of Kyoto prefecture.

6 jo Tatami Area difference

Kyoma vs Danchima

A typcial residential size room(6 jo) can be quite different in size depending on which type of tatami is used. 6 jo in Kyoma is whopping 25% bigger than 6 jo in Danchima. In other words, 6 jo in Kyoma is about 7.5 jo in Danchima.

Design & Style

  • ungen beri

    Ungen Beri

    It is heighest ranked design designated for rooms, where the emperor, retired emperor, and their wives lived. It is used for tatami in Seiryo-den Hall of Kyoto Imperial Palace.

  • Image of Daimon korai beri

    Daimon Korai Beri

    This design is used to be designated for princes and cheif advisors, but nowadays, you can see the design widely adopted in temples and shrines

  • shomon korai beri

    Shomon Korai Beri

    This design is used to be designated for high rank officials, but nowadays, you can see the design adopted in temples and shrines

  • tatami muji beri

    Muji Beri

    This is the most commonly used edge design, and it is usually made of synthetic fiber for cost and maintenance reasons.


It is difficult to perfectly align 4 corners, so in general, layout on the left is preferred unless formal design is required.You almost never see 4 corner layout in residential architecture, while it is not uncommon in formal or main rooms of temples and shrines.

jo Tatami Layout