Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My little Japanese doll house

My little Japanese dollhouse is small....only 6 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep.


This is the "front".... the door doesn't open.
In Japanese, uchi means house...and sometimes home or family.
Le means house too, but refers more to the building itself. 
In Hiragana (basic Japanese), you write house as いえ;
In Kanji (Chinese styled Japanese), you write house as 家 according to information found at
Yahoo! Answers.

Wikipedia tells me that traditional Japanese housing does not have a designated use for each room other than an entrance area (genkan), kitchen, bathroom, and toilet.  My little house has an outside door leading into the kitchen area, so possibly, like dollhouses designed in other countries, this one is missing it's genkan.
In Japan, partitions within the house are created by fusuma (sliding doors made from wood and paper); any area can be a living room, dining room, study or bedroom by altering the partitioning of this portable and easily removed fusuma.  The fusuma in my house are not  "portable". Along this side of the house is a  rōka, a wooden floored passage that is similar to a hallway.
This house has 4 areas....

 .....a kitchen with small pieces.....and me with fat fingers.
I finally had to use a pair of tweezers to place the rice cooker on
the burner...unless that is the rice cooker on top of the fridge...

....a living space, or i-ma........
The floor is covered with a tatami mat. I placed the kotatsu, or heated table, in the center with zabuton around for seating. In a traditional Japanese house the kotatsu is used during winter months to warm the interior. A futon covers the kotatsu and a tabletop is placed on top of the futon. A person sits on the floor or on zabuton with their legs under the table with the futon draped over the lower body. The kotatsu was designed for people wearing traditional Japanese style clothiing, where the heat would enter through the bottom of the robes and exit around the neck, thus heating the entire body.
All the furniture in this room is movable.
Hmmn, that could be the rice cooker by the kotatsu....

..........a bath area........
containing a soaking tub, a shower area, a washing machine,
and what looks to be a boiler or hot water heater.

....and a separate room for the toilet.
This room appears to have both a urinal and a squat toilet.

The parts of the house came free with a packaged food....
possibly a soup or some type of sauce mix.

All the boxes appear to be identical, but  somewhere there must be an indication as to which part of the house was included in that  particular box....after much study it has eluded me. 

 The dollhouse was made in 2004 by Takara Co., Ltd, a Japanese toy company founded in 1955.  In 2006, Takara merged with another prominent Japanese toy company, Tomy Co., Ltd.,  also known in English as TOMY Company Ltd.

post script, 10-9-13:  one of my readers  sent additional information about Japanese houses...and I didn't want you to miss it!  Read below.....

"The style of the house is very postwar Japan -- it represents a typical family home from the Showa (昭和) Era. People lived very simply, eating, studying, and sleeping in one room. The dollhouse is filled with classic artifacts from the 50's and 60's (some of which are still commonly used today). The boxes are not marked with the specific contents on purpose -- you're supposed to keep buying parts of the set until you collect them all, kind of like collecting stickers or baseball cards. The pot on the burner is called a nabe or donabe (earthenware pot) and used for cooking soup. "