29 Apr 2011

Shoin (書院?) means "drawing room" and "study" in Japanese domestic architecture.
 The term originally meant a study and a place for lectures on the sūtra within a temple, but later it came to mean just a drawing room or study.
 From this room takes its name the shoin-zukuri style.
In a shoin-zukuri building, the shoin is the zashiki, a tatami-room dedicated to the reception of guests.
Siheyuan courtyard house
A siheyuan (Chinese: ; pinyin: yuàn) is a historical type of residence that was commonly found throughout China, most famously inBeijing
. In English, siheyuan are sometimes referred to as Chinese quadrangles.
The name literally means a courtyard surrounded by four buildings
. Throughout Chinese history, the siheyuan composition was the basic pattern used for residences, palaces, temples, monasteries, family, businesses and government offices.
In ancient times, a spacious siheyuan would be occupied by a single, usually large and extended family, signifying wealth and prosperity.
Today, many remaining siheyuan are still used as housing complexes, but many lack modern amenities.
Siheyuan dates back as early as the Western Zhou period, and has a history of over 2,000 years.
They exhibit outstanding and fundamental characteristics of Chinese architecture.
They exist all across China and are the template for most Chinese architectural styles.
 Siheyuan also serves as a cultural symbol of Beijing and a window into its old ways of life.
Siheyuan today are typically used as housing complexes, hosting multiple families, with courtyards being developed to provide extra living space.
The architectural ornaments of the courtyard houses are of distinctive features,
with some brick carvings or wood carvings dotted on the prominent places such as the screen walls and the lateral walls of the door.
 The porch, flowers-hung gate (chuihua gate, the second gate which separates the outer court and the inner court), drum-shaped bearing stone, as well as doors and windows with wooden partition are also the key points for ornamentation.
 All these carving decorations and colored drawings are the embodiment of folk customs and traditional culture, which reflect common people's pursuit for happiness, goodliness, wealth and auspiciousness.

Tao roughly translates as "path" or "way".
It carries more abstract, spiritual meanings in folk religion and Chinese philosophy.
Taoist propriety and ethics emphasize the Three Jewels of the Tao: compassion, moderation, and humility,
the relationship between humanity and the cosmos health and longevity;
  wu wei (action through inaction).
Harmony with theUniverse, or the source thereof (Tao), is the intended result of many Taoist rules and practices.
Reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals is common in popular Taoism.
  Indus Valley Civilization
 (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) that was located in the north western region of the Indian Subcontinent
 Flourishing around the Indus River basin, the civilization  primarily centered along the Indus and the Punjab region, extending into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab
The mature phase of this civilization is known as the Harappan Civilization, as the first excavated city was the one at Harappa in modern Pakistan, in the 1920s
The Harappan language is not directly attested, though 

Refers to a tiered
      tower with multiple
    - China, Japan, Korea,
      Vietnam, Nepal &
      other parts of Asia
      Some are used as TAOIST – houses of worship
      Built to have a religious function
      Term : religious structures for some countries
      Location : in or near temples

      Comes from evolution of Ancient Indian Stupa
    - tomb-like structure
       - sacred relics were
         kept safe and
Wooden five-story pagoda of Hōryū-ji in Japan, built in 7th century, one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world.
Wooden three-story pagoda of Ichijō-ji in Japan, built in 1171 AD
Highest Chinese Pagoda (pre-modern age)
      Liaodi Pagoda of Kaiyuan Monastery, Dingxian, Hebei province
    - completed in 1055  AD
    - under Emperor Renzong of
    - Total height : 84m (275 ft.)
    - Built of : - brick and stone
                       - classic gradual  tiered eaves  marking each storey
                       - section of its walls partially open at one side, which allows
                         one to view the interior of the pagoda
                       - the inner column shaped as another pagoda inside
                       - the thickness of the pagoda's walls.
      Pagodas attract lightning strikes
      - height.
      - This tendency may have played a role in their perception as spiritually
        charged places.
*    Finial at the top :  to have symbolic meaning within Buddhism :
                                                        -  designs representing a lotus
                                                        -  functions as a lightning rod 
                                                             ~ attract lightning
                                                             ~ protect the pagoda from lightning damage
      - Early pagodas : ~ constructed out of wood
                                         -  steadily progressed to sturdier materials, which
                                            helped protect against fires and rot.
Pagodas in the Ming and Qing Dynasties generally inherited the styles of previous eras, although there were some minor variations:
    A tea house
      (茶室, cha-shitsu) is a structure designed for making Japanese tea ceremonies, chanoyu (茶の湯) or chadō (茶道; also pronounced sadō).
      Tea rooms for tea ceremony are also called cha-shitsu, but they are located within a dwelling.
      Tea houses in Japan are usually small, wooden buildings and are located in remote, quiet areas or in the gardens or grounds of larger houses.
.        The design of tea houses is heavily influenced by Zen         Buddhist philosophy.
      A typical tea house is surrounded by a small Japanese garden often featuring a water pool.
       In the garden there will also be a waiting area for guests, as well as a roji (路地), or "dewy path(jalan berembun)", leading to the tea house.
Tea houses were first introduced in the Sengoku period in Japan, a the country was in chaos, and wars and uprisings were commonplace.
      Seeking to reclaim Japan, samurai were defending territories, many of the poor were eager to seek the salvation of the afterlife as taught by Buddhism.
      Tea houses were built mostly by Zen monks or by daimyo (大名), samurai, and merchants who practiced tea ceremony.
      They sought simplicity and tranquility, which was akin to the values of Zen, in which samurai found salvation and philosophy for their fate.
      The acknowledgment of simplicity and plainness, which is a central motivation of the tea house, continued to remain as a distinct Japanese tradition in the later periods.
      The Japanese tea ceremony, also called the Way of Tea, is a Japanese cultural activity involving the ceremonial preparation
      Tea gatherings

Tea ceremony can be conducted in a special room included in a building such as a private dwelling, palace, temple, or castle.
      In Kamakura Period, tea drinking was endorsed by Zen Buddhism, which was newly introduced from China.
      Sen-no-Rikyu (Tea Master) favored austerity, with an emphasis upon the aesthetic concepts of sabi (the patina that comes with age) and wabi (things that are simple, natural, and imperfect)
      Tea house usually built of wood and bamboo, and the only entrance and exit is a small.
       Square door which symbolically separates the small, simple, quiet inside from the crowded, overwhelming outside world, and encourages humility in the host and guests, as all must kneel to enter the room.
      Tea houses usually consist of two rooms, one used for the preparation of food, snacks and tea supplies, and the other for the holding of the tea ceremony itself.
      The main room is typically extremely small, often 4 1/2 tatami mats, and the ceilings are low.
      There is no furniture, except what is required for the preparation of tea. the centre of the room for boiling water for tea.

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