SAKATA, Sakujiro. Chashitsu okoshi-ezu. [Drawings of Famous Tea-Houses]. A set of 90 pop-up architectural models of chashitsu, Japanese tea-houses, yoritsuki and koshikake. 90 envelopes (255 x 170 mm.). Each set accompanied by a printed list describing each model, pasted on the inside of the top of each of the two boxes. Housed in two contemporary Japanese wooden boxes. Manuscript table of contents pasted to inside of the lids. [Nara?]: Sakata Sakujiro, 1930's.
Exceptionally Rare, complete set of Japanese architectural models of tea-houses (chashitsu) associated with the tea ceremony (chanoyu). These models reproduce a set created in the first half of the nineteenth century, probably constructed in Kyoto. A printed version was issued in around 1900 and then resissued, as here, around 1930.
Onto the platform plan are floor patterns drawn in black ink revealing strict tatami-mat arrangements. The folding flaps of exterior walls, interior walls, ceilings, alcoves, passage-ways, etc., are attached by folding hinges to the platform. These folding flaps possess detailed drawings on both sides of the paper, delineating interior decor, highly refined window structures, tokonoma details, shoji windows or interior shoji walls, holes for windows and openings. Elements such as benches, shelves, shutters, awnings, etc. are secondary folding structures attached to the folding walls. Descriptive Japanese text identifies the structural dimensions, spatial measurements and original materials and textures used. Special attention is paid to bamboo, reeds, vines, and support timbers. The entire structure is flat when the platform plan in unfolded and the tea-house is erected by folding up the walls and attaching them together with the supplied tabs and slots.
"There is some disagreement among scholars as to whether okoshi-ezu were used during design or simply served to record existing buildings. The difficulty is that although the okoshi-ezu method seems to have originated early in the Edo period - exactly when or how is not clear - the oldest surviving examples date from the latter part of the Edo period [i.e. 1800-1868]" (Andrew Barrie, Okoshi-ezu: Speculations on thinness, footnote #1).
The set includes models of tea houses from the 13th century through the 19th century, many designed by the great names in the history of chanoyu from the inception of the Japanese tea ceremony: Sen-no-Rikyu (1522-1591), Takeno Joo (1502-1555), Genpaku Sotan (1578-1658), Koshin Sosa (1613-1672), Genso Sosa (1678-1730), all iemoto of the Omotesenke Tea School, as well as Edo tea masters such as Kawakami Fuhaku (1716-1807).
The first models are of tea-houses designed by Sen no Rikyu, depicting his tearooms of 4.5 jo, 2.5 jo, 1.5 jo, (each "jo" represents the size of one tatami mat - 1.653 square meters or 3.13 x 6.27 feet). There are also models of the famous tea-houses at Fushin-an, the headquarters of the Omotesenke tea-school in Kyoto and of Myoki-an, the Zen temple of the Rinzai sect in the Kyoto prefecture. The Taian teahouse, at Myoki-an represents one of only three tea houses in Japan designated as a National Treasure. Purportedly designed by Sen no Rikyu, it is the oldest surviving Japanese tea-house. Models #45 to 62 include the various shelving for chanoyu utensils in the mizuya or katte kitchen area to the rear of a tea house, plus loose tables, screens, several koshikake or waiting houses, out buildings, bamboo fences, gates, etc.
These sets are extremely rare. OCLC lists a set of the earlier version at the University of Utah and of this version at Princeton.
See: S. Horiguchi, Chashitsu okoshiezu shu [Folding Drawings of the Famous Tea Rooms], 12 volumes, Tokyo: Bokusui shobo, 1963-67. Nakamura, Chashitsu no rekishi: Kizo ga wakaru [The History of Tea Houses], Kyoto: Tankosha, 1998, and Nakamura, Chashitsu okoshiezu no miryoku [The Attraction of Folding Drawings]. Fukui, Japan: Fukui shimbunsha, 2005.
Item nr. 165325