Takatsuka Architects Firm Co., Ltd Japan

"Suki" and "Sukiya"

Both "Suki" and "Sukiya" include versatile concepts from a historical point of view and do have ambiguous aspects. The natural and light spacial direction due to its ambiguousness, however, seems to make people attracted in contemporary life, as well.

- Suki -


In Heian-era(794-1191), "Suki" means a disposition inclined to refined pursuits or sensual pleasures.
In Kamakura-era(1200-1336), being distinguished from sensual pleasures, "Suki" mostly stands for the pursuits of elegance in the art of tanka poetry.
In the middle of 15th century, people customary say, "Cha(tea)-Suki" against to "Uta(tanka poetry)-Suki". Then, in the beginning of 16th century, the word "Suki" was actually going to be taken as the art of ceremonial tea-making ,"Cha-no-yu".
This ceremonial tea-making style was to be differentiated from the similar one which was decoratively made in Higashiyama Palace, which was actually taken as "Wabi-cha"(sober refinement tea ceremonial style). Then, since Genroku period(1688-1704), "Suki" pursuits has been exactly named "Sa-do", the art of ceremonial tea-making.
Sources: Sekaibunkasha "World Culture Grand Encyclopedia"

- Sukiya -

Katsura Imperial Villa/Gakki-no-ma/Nishi-hiroen Katsura Imperial Villa/Ko-shoin/Tsukimi-dai Katsura Imperial Villa/Ko-shoin/Shokin-tei

In the middle of Muromachi-era"(15th century), a room or a building for ceremonial tea-making was going to be called "Sukiya". In Momoyama-era, "Sukiya" meant a room or a building for the exclusive use of tea-ceremony, however, since the beginning of Edo-era, the meaning had been inclined to expand, that is, any rooms having architectural techniques or design for tea-ceremony rooms have been named "Sukiya".
In the contemporary Architecture History Society, "Sukiya" style has been defined as it is the architecture of Shoin style including the design of tea-ceremony room, or, regarding the relation with tea-ceremony rooms as least important and taking "Sukiya" style as free style as if it is Gyou or Sou style, the refined cursive or semi-cursive style in calligraphy comparing to "Shoin" style is taken as Shin, the block style.
Sources: Heibonsha "World Grand Encyclopedia"

- Souan (a thatched hut) tea-ceremony room -

a tea-ceremony room"Tai-an" a tea-ceremony room"Yodomi-no-deki"

The lead for the unique architectural expression for tea-ceremony rooms had been made by Rikyu Sen, who created Souan (a thatched hut) tea-ceremony room for "Wabi-cha"(sober refinement tea ceremonial style) in Momoyama-era, in the latter half of 16th century.
Comparing to the former style similar to Shoin which is open and spacious, Souan tea-ceremy room was meant to be created as an aesthetic and spiritual space for just concentrating the tea-ceremony itself with careful and elaborate plans such as downsizing the room to under 4 and a half-mat wide for omitting the movement of host and guests as much as possible for tasting the silence or reducing the entrances, doors and windows as much as possible for emphasizing the sheltered atmosphere.
Its architectural composition was carefully planned, as well. Excluding the elements or expressions of Shoin style that stand for the worldly things and authority, Rikyu intentionally selected natural and simple materials for posts or other parts in order to find the profound beauty existing in the natural materials. At the same time, he created the new realm of beauty in composition by designing unique combinations of windows in variety sizes to elaborate the nuance of lighting.
Sources: Sekaibunkasha "World Culture Grand Encyclopedia"

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