Shoin-zukuri interior in the Ginkaku Temple, Kyoto, showing a chigai-dana (left …—Oguro Planning Co.—FPG

Style of Japanese domestic architecture. The name is taken from a feature called the shoin, a study alcove with a built-in desk. Other common features included the tokonoma and chigai-dana (built-in shelves). The style, derived from Zen Buddhist monastic dwellings, gradually replaced the shinden-zukuri style during the Muromachi period (1338–1573). It is characterized by a new modesty of scale (forced on the aristocracy by loss of income); asymmetry and an irregular flowing together of masses; and the use of solid-wall construction and sliding shoji, rather than the movable partitions that divided the main living space in the shinden.

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