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Sudare 簾

Posted by
Stu (From Scotland | Working in Kyoto, Japan) on 9 May 2009 in Lifestyle & Culture and Portfolio.

Sudare are screens or blinds. They are sometimes called misu as well. Theyare used in many Japanese homes to shield the verandah and other openings of the building from sunlight, rain, and insects. Their light structure allows breezes to pass through, a benefit in the hot Japanese summers.
Sudare protect the inhabitants of the building not only from the elements, but also from the eyes of outsiders. During the Heian Era, a court lady would conceal herself behind a screen when speaking with a man outside her immediate family. She could peep through it and see her interlocutor, but because he had to remain at a distance from it, he could not see her. Any unwarranted moves on the man's part were seen as a grave breach of etiquette and a threat against the lady's modesty and purity.
Sudare were also used in imperial audiences. Since looking directly at the tennō ("heavenly ruler") was forbidden, he would sit hidden behind a screen in the throne hall, with only his shoes showing. This practice fell out of use as imperial power declined.

Canon EOS 50D 1/400 second F/7.1 ISO 400 250 mm

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My spotlight images.

GJC from Kyoto (京都), Japan

What a remarkable shot. The graphics are superb as are the contrasting lines and textures.

9 May 2009 7:19am

Ken from United States

So simple a subject and so complex an image. Brilliantly composed.

9 May 2009 8:23am

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Beautiful fine craft and art... both the sudare and your picture!

9 May 2009 10:31am

Ian Smith from London, United Kingdom

Great capture! And very interesting read.

9 May 2009 12:30pm

aneesh from India

gr8 pic. u wrote it well friend

9 May 2009 4:12pm

Esther K from Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, Malaysia

Yes, very interesting read and a beautiful capture indeed. What are they made from, Stu? Bamboo?

10 May 2009 1:39am

@Esther K: You got it Esther. They are indeed Bamboo. Thx for visiting. Have a good one!

Sash from Adelaide, Australia

Bamboo, Stu...Bamboo. I have a fondness for your minimalist approach that extends well beyond the bedroom. On the other hand, if I may be so bold as to venture where no baldy has ventured before*, a slight tweak to the contrast, so that the blacks are even darker would probably make an already sexy thing even sexier. The only reason I'm suggesting this is because the colour picker (for the black, white and grey points) in the levels is an exceptionally good way of getting such saucy minimalism to 'pop'.

Love your work, sensei.

* Dubious.

13 May 2009 6:13am

@Sash: I reckon you could be right re the contrast there Sashmomo. I may well re-work and re-post time permitting. This could be one to print and keep.

jeri from United States

Very Zen in the simplicity. Lovely

14 May 2009 3:19pm

Sash from Adelaide, Australia

It is most definitely one to print and keep. Speak to you about that and more on Friday.

20 May 2009 6:42am

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Excellent image. These things are great. As it got lighter in the spring, I went looking for these to keep my monk's cell (tiny bedroom actually) dark. They did that but let the breeze through as you mentioned.

21 May 2009 5:53pm