With the emergence of the Shoin style, a new rational way of planning architecture manifested itself in Japan. Bit by bit, drawings, cost calculations and contracting were based on technogical planning.

Previously, construction drawings had merely been simple floor plans and comments regarding construction. Renderings, perspective drawings and detailed plans had never been drawn in advance, the proportions of constructive elements had been defined by the experience of the executing craftsperson.

The first step towards holistic planning was the introduction of the perspective sketch, which started to appear alongside the emergence of Kiwari Jutsu, a system of measurements for building in wood. It defined the dimensions of every component based on its relationship to a defined base unit, which varied by building size and purpose. Towards the end of the Momoyama period, the system was well advanced and ideal proportions had been defined in diverse compendium books (Kiwari-Shô).

Kiwari Jutsu

Translated from Wolfgang Fehrer – Das Japanische Teehaus, Niggli (2018), p. 131

Malte Müller