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Antique Japanese Wood Screen
Item No. 5577B

19th - 20th Century, N/A, Japan
70" x 39" x 1.25"
( 177.8 x 99.06 x 3.175 cm)
(H x W x D)

Antique screens such as this are made from wood and bamboo and are placed indise door frames in traditional homes and other traditional architectural structures so that they can easily open and close by sliding back and forth. Privacy is imperitive in Japanese culture, and, although these screens are not soundproofing devices, privacy in Japan is considered secure as long as people are not seen. From early on and as children, the Japanese are taught to ignore the sounds and conversations they hear and cannot see taking place, and they are also taught to converse in a quiet manner that will not interrupt or disturb the thoughts or actions of others.

The vertical reeds in the screen are kept in place here with the use of five bamboo strips that fun horizonally from side to side, and the reeds are tied to these strips with string to secure them. The wood frame and the thin horizontal carved wood panel at the top have grooves cut out so the reeds can fit inside the grooved track and not be dislodged. The top panel is divided into six sections with the use of four thin dark-stained vertical pieces of wood, and the six sections sre filled with four or five angular wood pieces set next to each other in tile-like fashion and with every other section alternating the direction the pieces are set in.

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