Abstract/Details

JAPANESE SPATIAL CONCEPTION: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ITS ELEMENTS IN THE CULTURE AND TRADITIONS OF JAPAN AND IN ITS POST-WAR ERA


1982 1982

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Abstract (summary)

The objective of this thesis is to examine the distinctive conceptions and expressions of Japanese space and to identify their sources in Japanese culture, language and philosophy. Despite the rush of Western influence, these native characteristics persist throughout post-war Japanese architecture, and are assimilated into the spatial planning of their contemporary architecture.

This thesis begins with an analysis of those spatial elements, and the way in which they are used and perceived that is distinctively Japanese. Linguistic, artistic, literary, religious as well as the philosophical components of Japanese culture have influenced and contributed significantly to the use of space for the Japanese.

Since language profoundly conditions the expression of a people's thinking and feeling, and spatial conception is naturally experiential and cultural, a clear understanding of Japanese linguistic expression is essential. In order to show how the Japanese express their spatial conception, analogies that demonstrate distinctively Japanese spatial concepts have been drawn from literature, art and architecture.

The historical Japanese teahouse embodies the spatial elements compatible with the tea ceremony and with culturally important traditions. The teahouse suki-ya has become the prototype not only for historical Japanese space, but for contemporary architecture in Japan.

The evidence shows that the Japanese are very much concerned for space and the interpretation of space. There is a richness of words that describe space and feelings from all senses in Japanese, despite this language's general lack of vocabulary. It is clearly an indication that one should not separate the Japanese spatial concept from external sensory experiences. This is, therefore, in strong contrast to Kant's notion of space, based on "a priori" reasoning.

There is ample evidence that a distinctive Japanese spatial concept does exist, and is dynamically alive within Japan. Despite the rush of individualistic Western influences, it persists throughout the post-war era. The distinct spatial concept is summarized in one word: suki. Suki, the gap space, is the fundamental ingredient for making the sequential experience of Japanese space. This thesis has also demonstrated how the language, religion, culture, and tradition influenced the formation of a spatial concept. In turn, it opens and suggests a new dimension toward the spatial investigation of other cultures.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Architecture
Classification
0729: Architecture
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts
Title
JAPANESE SPATIAL CONCEPTION: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ITS ELEMENTS IN THE CULTURE AND TRADITIONS OF JAPAN AND IN ITS POST-WAR ERA
Author
CHANG, CHING-YU
Number of pages
562
Publication year
1982
Degree date
1982
School code
0175
Source
DAI-A 43/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
University/institution
University of Pennsylvania
University location
United States -- Pennsylvania
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
8307295
ProQuest document ID
303229398
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/303229398
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