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Japanese room with sliding shōji doors and tatami flooring

In traditional Japanese architecture, a shōji is a door, window or room divider consisting of translucent paper over a frame of wood which holds together a lattice of wood or bamboo. While washi is the traditional paper, shōji may be made of paper made by modern manufacturing processes; plastic is also in use.[1]


Shōji doors are often designed to slide open, and thus conserve space that would be required by a swinging door.[citation needed]

They are used in traditional houses as well as Western-style housing, especially in the washitsu (Japanese-style room). In modern construction, the shōji does not form the exterior surface of the building; it sits inside a sliding glass door or window.[citation needed]

In his book on Japanese aesthetics and architecture, In Praise of Shadows, the Japanese writer Jun'ichirō Tanizaki comments on the role of shōji in the interaction of light and shadows.


Formerly the word shōji was used to refer to both fusuma, formally known as karagami shōji (唐紙障子), and shōji, referred to as akari shōji (明り障子).[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Van Arsdale, Jay (2013). Shoji: How to Design, Build, and Install Japanese Screens. Kodansha International. ISBN 9781568365336.

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