In the book of the Urasenke 11th Gengensai Iemoto, “The seats of four and a half mats are originally in the shape of the Yin-Yang and the Five Elements (陰陽五行), and the world is put in one room. … The tea room is built on the south side in response to the light of the northeast. … You should know that you are heading north in front of the point … ”.
According to Chinese philosophy and culture, the five elements are wood (east, yang), fire (south, yang), earth (center of yin and yang), metal (west, yang), and water (north, yin). In the original four-and-a-half-mat tea room, the host faces north and is located in the northwest (yin), and the guests are located in the southeast (yang). The tatami mat in front of the alcove is a noble tatami mat (貴人畳), and it has a lot of shade, on the other hand, it receives the sunlight from the front.
It is said that the beginning of the four and a half mats is “Dojinsai”, (同仁斎) located in the northeast corner of Togu-Do (東求堂), which was the Buddhist temple of Ashikaga Yoshimasa in Higashiyama Jishoji (東山慈照寺) (Ginkakuji 銀閣寺). This “Dojinsai” was called “Irori no Ma” or “the room with Sunken hearth”, but it was established as a tea room. It is made up of Takeno Joo (武野紹鴎), and it comes out as “NANPOROKU” (南方録). In the case of “Yojohan half-fired”, which is said to be the basic, the central half-tatami becomes a furnace tatami, and the furnace takes the symbolic place of the earth in the Yin-Yang philosophy and the five elements in the tea room.
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