Building A Tokonoma Display

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#1
I have an interest in building a tokonoma display for my basement. Is anyone aware of building plans or lists of the materials used? Much of my research has found "how" to use a display or how to create the display inside the tokonoma, but not so much the building of one itself.

Specifically, my questions would be around size and materials. This would be in my basement, where I have plenty of room. I was thinking 6' wide x 3' deep x 8' tall? Is that too large?

The basic build i could do w/ 2x4s and plywood, but what about the finishing materials like shoji screens and mats? Where would I begin to look for and research those materials?

The goal of this would be to enjoy my trees, learn more about how to display trees, and keep me busy during the winter months!!


Thanks in advance!
 
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#2
check out hirotugu hosoi and dylan iwakuni on instagram - their work is interesting, but more importantly their accounts will lead you to craftsmen who build those kinds of things in the 'traditional' way - in case you really want to keep yourself busy during the winter months!

if there is a 'china town' in st. louis, that might be a good place to start a search for tatami (if you will be using one) - they are surprisingly heavy, and awkward to ship. I abandoned the idea when i saw the price of shipping.

@MACH5 did you buy yours locally or online? (i'm curious for myself too) I noticed you have a nice one that you used as the floor in one of your recent pictures - the arakawa i think

D
 

MACH5

Masterpiece
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#3
check out hirotugu hosoi and dylan iwakuni on instagram - their work is interesting, but more importantly their accounts will lead you to craftsmen who build those kinds of things in the 'traditional' way - in case you really want to keep yourself busy during the winter months!

if there is a 'china town' in st. louis, that might be a good place to start a search for tatami (if you will be using one) - they are surprisingly heavy, and awkward to ship. I abandoned the idea when i saw the price of shipping.

@MACH5 did you buy yours locally or online? (i'm curious for myself too) I noticed you have a nice one that you used as the floor in one of your recent pictures - the arakawa i think

D

Derek yes mine was from Amazon. They are much heavier than I thought but they look great!
 
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#4
you can recreate the tatami look with woven rice mats. You don't really need to buy high quality tatami, as your not going to be walking on it or whatever. Depends how handy you are.
 
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Richmond, VA
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#5
I have an interest in building a tokonoma display for my basement. Is anyone aware of building plans or lists of the materials used? Much of my research has found "how" to use a display or how to create the display inside the tokonoma, but not so much the building of one itself.

Specifically, my questions would be around size and materials. This would be in my basement, where I have plenty of room. I was thinking 6' wide x 3' deep x 8' tall? Is that too large?

The basic build i could do w/ 2x4s and plywood, but what about the finishing materials like shoji screens and mats? Where would I begin to look for and research those materials?

The goal of this would be to enjoy my trees, learn more about how to display trees, and keep me busy during the winter months!!


Thanks in advance!
You can get some Tatami-like mats at IKEA: https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40165471/

Shoji screens aren't hard to build, just time consuming. If you are able to build the Tokonoma display, you shouldn't have any issues building the Shoji screen.

Be sure to post pictures of your progress, I'm sure others would love to see this build!
 
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#7
@kakejiku - specializes in display, technique and theory. Perhaps he has plans? or knows the proper dimensions? Or a good source for the information?
Thank you Leo...
Toko no Ma are typically measured by how many tatami longways as that is how rooms are commonly laid out in Japan.
Nima - Is two longways tatami, and typically is about 12 feet long. (3.64 meters)
Ichimahan - Is one longway tatami and another tatami laid in the opposite direction and would be about 9 feet.
Ichima - is the length of one tatami and is about 6 feet.

So OP's size layout is about spot on.
Second thing you need to think about is the formality of the Tokonoma. A Shin 真 style Toko no Ma is probably out of the question because it requires Nima of space, and OP only wanted about 6' in length. Additionally, the Shin Tokonoma requires a lot of shelving, and a Shoin (書院)light source and calligraphy space, as well as chamfered posts (柱) that are imported exotic woods.
Gyou行 style Toko are a little more flexible and would incorporate fewer elements. I don't have time to explain everything, but shelves and other areas could be omitted.
Sou草 style Toko are the least formal and would incorporate less finish, more log like looks for the pillars. Sometimes Bamboo is used etc. The pillar that Bill Valvanis has in his Toko no Ma would be considered Sou. Same with the Toko no Ma in my Parents in Law's house.

Last thing to plan for a Toko no Ma is whether you want a Fumikomi style or a Kekkomi style. This is explained in my post in the Resource section callled Defining the Display Space.

Sources referenced for this post
雅道教本 Gadou Kyouhon
表具、和の文化的遺伝子 Hyougu, Wa no Bunkateki Idenshi
 

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