Test yourself to see what you've learned.

If you're not sure of the answer to any of these questions,
be sure to ask the sensei during your next class session!

Tokonoma:
1. What is it?
2. What items are found in the tokonoma? How many of each? How are those items chosen?
3. How is the tokonoma used during a tea ceremony?

Genkan:
4. What is it? Describe it.
5. Explain the steps of entering a Japanese house. What are the important DO's and DON'Ts?
6. What is absolutely taboo and why?

Shoji versus Fusuma:
7. What are they, and what's the difference between the two?
8. Approximately what size are they normally?
9. What materials is each made of?
10. What seem to be the predominant colors of the materials in each?

Butsudan:
11. What is it?
12. What religion is it associated with?
13. Where or how is it placed in a room?
14. What materials is a butsudan usually made of, and what are its predominant colors?
15. What does a butsudan enshrine or commemorate?

Kamidana:
16. What is it?
17. What religion is it associated with?
18. Where or how is it placed in a room?
19. What materials is a butsudan usually made of, and what are its predominant colors?
20. What does a kamidana enshrine or commemorate?

Ofuroba:
21. What is an ofuro? What is an ofuroba? What's the difference?
22. Why shouldn't the word ofuroba be translated as "bathroom"?
23. What are the main steps involved in taking a bath Japanese-style?
24. How many drains will you find in an ofuroba, and why?
25. Name 5 features or items you will find in a Japanese ofuroba that you would NOT find in a Western (American or European) bathing room.

Oshi-ire:
26. What is it? What is the meaning of the word oshi-ire, and how is it related to its function?
27. How is an oshiire different from other closets?
28. How should you fold a Japanese futon? (What is a futon?)

Finally, can you do the following accurately?
29. Draw a simple diagram of a traditional Japanese-style room, and make sure it includes a tokonoma as well as an oshiire (they should NOT be right next to each other, but rather, in completely different parts of the room). In addition, show where the room would have fusuma and shoji and why you've decided to place each type of panel there. Add a table in the room, and show where the guest(s) of honor would sit.


Design features of a traditional Japanese house

tokonoma: decorative alcove | genkan: entryway | shoji and fusuma: paper wall panels | butsudan: Buddhist altar | kamidana: Shinto altar | ofuro-ba: bathing room | oshi-ire: closets

Other links

test yourself | model-building project | traditional Japanese house HOME PAGE