Blinds, bamboo blind (sudare)

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Blind, blinds (sudare)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Summer
***** Category: Humanity


To open the windows and sit behind a bamboo blind in the breeze is one of the "cool" experiences in Japan in Summer before the advent of air conditioning.

There are a few kigo with this blind.

bamboo blind, take sudare 竹簾 たけすだれ
wooden blind, ita sudare 板簾
reed blind, yoshi sudare 葭簾
..... these reed or rush blinds were often made by hand during winter in the farm houses around lake Biwa.

new (bamboo) blind, aosudare 青簾 (あおすだれ)
..... made from fresh bamboo or reeds
old blind, furu sudare 古簾
..... toward the end of the summer season
elegant blinds for the living room, ozashiki sudare 御座敷すだれ

Click HERE for some photos !

blinds decorated with pictures, e sudare 絵簾
blind from the old Io area in Shikoku, Io sudare 伊予簾
..... they are usually very colorful.
Click HERE for some photos !

sudare uri 簾売(すだれうり)vendor of bamboo blinds


yohsizu 葭簀 (よしず ) reed screen
yoshizu jaya 葭簀茶屋(よしずぢゃや)tea house enclosed with reed screens
yoshizubari 葭簀張(よしずばり)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

yoshido 葭戸 (よしど) reed screen door
..... sudo 簀戸(すど)
yoshi shooji 葭障子(よししょうじ)reed sliding doors

CLICK for more photos
yoshi byoobu 葭屏風(よしびょうぶ)reed folding screen

yoshizu amu tsuchi ni mo nareshi ko-chookana

a small butterfly
learns even about wooden weights
and weaving reed screens

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku was written on 2/22 (April 2) in 1804, when Issa was in the city of Edo. Issa seems to be visiting or watching someone who is making a translucent reed screen or blind that will placed outside a doorway or room, either to provide shade for a south- or west-facing room or to gain privacy. The blinds are usually placed so they lean against the side of the house, and they can be easily moved. They are made by horizontally weaving together many tall vertical reeds with several strong threads or strings, a process that leaves cracks between the reeds through which air and some light can pass. Today the process is mechanized, but in Issa's time the threads would hang down from a wooden weaving frame (see the second link below), and a wooden weight at the end of each thread kept the threads taut around the reeds until the weaving was completed. These wooden weights used during weaving are called tsuchinoko (槌子) or "mallet children / small mallets" in many rural dialects even today, although in some areas "mallet children" refers to the thread itself. Wooden mallets, however, are not used to weave reed blinds, although they are used to pound and soften plaited straw objects, so Issa may here be calling the thread weights by their short form, tsuchi (槌), mallet or hammer. More research needs to be done before a firm interpretation of this hokku can be made.

In the hokku the butterfly has "gotten used to" or "become quite familiar" with the dangling weights on the weaving frame, so it seems to be interested in them. Is it attracted by their swaying motion? Could it have learned how to light on the weights for a while even while the threads are moving up and down as the operators weave reeds together? Does it sleep on the weights now? In any case, Issa seems impressed by the small butterfly's curiosity about so many things, even about dangling thread weights.

This shows what a reed blind looks like from inside a room. The horizontal threads that hold the reeds together are visible:

This shows children weaving a small reed screen using the traditional method. At the ends of the threads are wooden weights which also act as spools called "mallet children" in many traditional areas of Japan. The screen is now on its side and will stand vertically when finished.

Chris Drake


moji shooji 綟障子 (もじしょうじ)
sliding doors with hemp cloth cover

moji byoobu 綟屏風(もじびょうぶ) folding screen with hemp cloth

hemp cloth is also used for summer robes and for mosquito netting.

. folding screen and kigo  

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

CLICK for more photos

. Nanjing Tamasudare たますだれ (玉簾/珠簾)  
performance with small sudare
Nankin Tamasudare 南京玉すだれ street performance toy


Edo Sudare 江戸簾 Slatted Blinds

■ Traditional Technologies and Techniques
1- When making Edo Sudare (slatted blinds from Edo) from bamboo, the staves are split into slats along the grain using a chopper. After cutting the bamboo into big pieces, its sheath is stripped. A small knife is then used to section the slats into small pieces and shave them down.
2- When making Edo Sudare (slatted blinds) from reeds, Japanese clover, bulrushes, cudweed or Iyo Bamboo, thought is given to the product to be produced. Work is then carried out in matching up the materials based on their thickness, whether they come from the tip, the center or the base of the plants being used.
3- The weaving of materials into blinds is conducted after any individual material traits have been corrected. In order that balance is maintained between the left and right of a blind, materials from the tip and root of the plants (materials of different thicknesses) are alternated and woven in. The methods of weaving used include a single strand weave, a double strand weave, a parallel weave, a tortoiseshell weave and pattern weaves, etc.
編み方は、1本編み、2本編み、もじり編み、組み編み、蛇腹(じゃばら)編み、亀甲編み、こまがえし, 模様編み

■ Traditionally Used Raw Materials
Bamboo, reeds, Japanese clover, bulrushes, cottonweed, Iyo Bamboo

■ History and Characteristics

The history of “sudare” (slatted blinds) is very long, there even being a reference in Japan’s oldest collection of poetry called the “Man'yōshū”万葉集 (literally the "Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves"). This is a collection of prose compiled sometime after the year 759.

One literary reference to "sudare" in the "Man'yōshū" was penned by the Princess Nukata as she pined for the Emperor Ōmi 近江天皇 (the Emperor Tenji):
"Kimi matsu to, wa ga koioreba, wa ga yado no sudare ugokashi aki no kaze fuku"
("While I wait in longing for you my lord, there comes the autumn wind that stirs the bamboo blinds").

In a well-known episode in Japanese history, Sei Shonagon, a court lady in the service of the Empress Teishi (in around the year 1000), wrote in her pillow book (her private diary) about reacting to a poem originally written by the Tang poet Bai Juyi.
This poem was in the Chinese "lushi" style (a composition of eight lines of seven characters each) and it referred to "raising the 'sudare' to see the snowy peak of Xiang Lu Feng mountain." When asked about this poem by the Empress Teishi, Sei Shonagon immediately raised the "sudare" in the imperial palace so that the empress could view the snow-covered garden outside.

High-quality "sudare" bordered with cloth is known as "misu" 御簾. Since the Heian Period (approx. 794 -1185), it has been used as both a room divider and sun screen in palaces, aristocratic mansions, as well as in shrines and temples.

Edo Sudare also made regular appearances in ukiyo-e 浮世絵 (woodblock prints) such as "Coolness in Hyakka-en 百科園涼み," "A Beauty behind a Sudare 簾ごし美人図" and "Fuzoku Sandan Girls 風俗三段娘," these being the works of Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), one of the most famous artists of the golden age of woodblock prints.

What is distinctive about Edo Sudare is that materials such as bamboo, Japanese clover, cottonweed, bulrushes and reeds, can be experienced in their natural state. The most popular material for making "sudare" is bamboo, with lustrous, mature and hardened staves being harvested between the autumn and spring equinox. Unlike timber, the processing of bamboo does not involve the use of a cutting blade. Rather, because bamboo is thinned down along the grain, and undergoes a whittling process, it is rather difficult to have all the bamboo material a particular width or length.

Furthermore, depending on application, the back of bamboo may be shaved down in a triangular shape or shaped into a barrel. There are also particular cuts of bamboo for specific purposes.
竹の裏を三角に削ったり、かまぼこ形にしたり, 反らないように柾割にする

Thus, even while on first glance it might appear that splitting bamboo is a simple exercise, the handling of it requires many years of experience that are based on understanding bamboo’s qualities and appreciating complex techniques.

Tokyo Slatted Blinds Industry Association
- source : www.sangyo-rodo.metro.tokyo.jp

- quote -
"Princess Nukata, one of the finest poets in the first part of the Man'yoshu, lived in the turbulent time of the establishment of the Imperial Clan as the rulers of Japan. She, like Sappho, is half legendary, but is considered to have been a divine messenger, an oracle or shamaness, and a public poet. Her greatness lies in her ability to combine in universal terms the expression of personal passion and powerful collective emotion -- and in the extraordinary beauty of her sonorous poetry, which would seem to show a long period of conscious aesthetic development from the pre-literate poetry gathered in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki."
. . . - source : earlywomenmasters.ne -


hito wa nusumedo mono wa nusumazu sudare maku

I may have stolen men,
but I have never stolen a thing
winding up the rattan blind

(Tr. Susumu Takiguchi)

Read more here about
Suzuki Masajo


Issa has 9 haiku about the blinds

yuku haru no machi ya kasa uri sudare uri

spring ends in the town--
umbrella-hat, bamboo blind

ao sudare byakue no bijin kayou miyu

green bamboo blinds--
a pretty woman in white
through the cracks

mi hitotsu ya shinaba sudare no aoi uchi

one life--
for my deathbed, please
green bamboo blinds

More haiku by Issa
Tr. David Lanoue

byakue no bijin, maybe this is
. Byakue Kannon in white robes .

Related words

More kigo for all summer

***** light seating mat, goza 茣蓙
CLICK for more photos !

They feel rather cool to sit on. Nowadays they are also used as small cushions for cars.
mat with flower pattern, hana goza 花茣蓙
Click HERE for some photos !

rattan mat, too mushiro 籐筵
bamboo mat, takamushiro 簟
..... they are a bit hard but rather cool to sit on.

negoza 寝茣蓙 (ねござ) goza mat to sleep on
..... nemushiro 寝筵(ねむしろ

gamamushiro 蒲筵 (がまむしろ) mat from gama
..... gamagoza 蒲茣蓙(がまござ)
made from gama cattail; reed mace; bulrush

. gama and igusa 藺 rushes .


. natsu yakata 夏館 (なつやかた) home in summer
.... natsu yashiki 夏邸(なつやしき)
natsu no yado 夏の宿(なつのやど) lodging in summer
living at home in summer, many more KIGO


***** sitting room in summer, parlor in summer
natsu zashiki 夏座敷

Click for more photos of a ZASHIKI !

Zashiki 座敷, a room covered with tatami straw mats and a decoration alcove (tokonoma 床の間), used to entertain visitors, a kind of reception room.
Ths SUMMER sitting room is the same room as used in winter when entertaining visitors during the day. But with the summer decoration of bamboo blinds and light seating mats, the summer preparations would make you feel cool in summer. The doors could be kept open to let the fresh air from the garden into the room.
This is of course talking about the Edo period, without air conditioning or electric fans to bring some refreshment.
A wind chime hung in the eves would also enhance the feeling of coolness.

yama mo niwa mo ugokihairuru natsu zashiki

summer sitting room -
the mountains and the garden
seem to move in too

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written on the fourth day of the fourth lunar month
in 1689 元禄2年4月4日
On his travel "Oku no Hosomichi" in Kurobane, as a "greeting poem" to his host Shuuo 秋鴉. This might have been the visit when Basho gave him this "haiku name" 俳号挑雪.
The younger brother of Shuuo has the haiku name 翠桃.

- - - - -

ajisai ya yabu o koniwa no betsu zashiki

hydrangea and a wild
thicket, providing a little garden
for this cottage

Tr. Makoto Ueda

in grove, being little garden,
the detached room

Basho was invited to a farewell linked verse party for him before he returned to his hometown of 伊賀上野(Iga Ueno) before he left for his last journey. His host and disciple 子珊(Shisan) held this party at the detached room of his house, where a thicket with hydrangea was used as a rustic garden for the hut.

Basho offered this verse above mentioned as 発句(hokku), an opening and greeting poem, for his host when asked about the style of 軽み(karumi), lightness.
source : Tr. Hidenori Hiruta, Akita

Basho age 51, written in the fifth lunar month
At a good-bye party at the home of his disciple
Shisan 子珊 (? - 元禄12年1月10日)
Basho gave his disciples a short lecture about how to write hokku and to use karumi, lightness, in their poems.
This hokku has the cut marker YA at the end of line 1.

source : itoyo basho

these hydrangeas -
a thicket for a small garden
of this detached sitting room

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


kono kaze no fusoku iu nari natsu zashiki

this wind
isn't enough, they say...
summer room

Issa and more haiku about the sitting room
Tr. David Lanoue


yamagiri no toorinuketari oozashiki

mountain fog
passes right through
the large room

Tr. and comment by Chris Drake

The hokku is from the 8th month (September) of 1816, and the headnote says Issa is at a mountain temple. He's probably stayed overnight, and early in the morning the sliding side doors of the room are opened, leaving the room partially continuous with the mountain outside. Thick fog comes pouring through the big room, obscuring many of the room's features and turning it into a zone somewhere between human culture and natural mountainside.
The border between inside and outside becomes obscure, and Issa's image may be of virtually unobstructed flow. The rapidly moving fog seems almost unaffected by the temple and flows on as if the physical temple wasn't there. For Issa, too, perhaps for a while it wasn't.


***** rattan chair, too isu 籐椅子

..... too ne-isu 籐寝椅子(とうねいす) rattan chair to sleep on
Another item to bring some coolness to the living room.

CLICK for more photos !

tooisu ni areba soomoku kachoo rai

I sit on a rattan chair
grasses, trees, flowers and birds
all come to me

Takahama Kyoshi

"ka cho-fuei (kachoo fuuei 花鳥諷詠)" Kyoshi and shasei in haiku

More Haiku about CHAIRs


***** take shoogi 竹牀几 たけしょうぎ folding chair from bamboo
..... 竹床几(たけしょうぎ)


***** Persimmon hanging to dry like blinds (kakisudare) 柿簾, 柿すだれ
kigo for autumn
kaki sudare

CLICK for more photos !

***** Wind Chimes (fuurin)
Windbells, wind bells, wind-bells

*****  aki sudare 秋簾 (あきすだれ) blinds in autumn  
yoshido shimau 葭戸蔵う (よしどしまう)put away the reed doors
and more


. HUMANITY and Summer Kigo



anonymous said...

籐椅子ありひと亡きあともそこにあり 安住敦「歴日抄」
籐椅子が四つ四人姉妹会ふ 橋本多佳子
籐椅子が届きて皆に坐らるる 角光雄
籐椅子が廊下にありし国敗れ 川崎展宏「夏」
籐椅子と同齢吾も飴色に 岡本まち子
籐椅子にある父の過去我の過去 松尾白汀
籐椅子にあれば草木花鳥来 高濱虚子
籐椅子にうつしみ雲の如くあり 岡本松浜 白菊
籐椅子におのが重みを感じをり 上野泰 春潮
籐椅子にかけて読みだすハイネの詩 渡辺宇免江
籐椅子にけぶる大阪を四方にせり 大橋櫻坡子 雨月
籐椅子にしづみてうすき母の膝 古賀まり子 緑の野
籐椅子にすぐ消えたがる主語であり 如月真菜
籐椅子になびく隣家の薄煙り 桂信子 黄 瀬
籐椅子にならびて掛けて恋ならず 富安風生「松籟」
籐椅子にはや秋草をまのあたり 岩木躑躅
籐椅子にひつかかりつつ出てゆきぬ 波多野爽波 鋪道の花
籐椅子によろこび凭れり大夕立 池内たけし
籐椅子にゐても立つても子を憂ふ 安住敦
籐椅子にゐて塩田が見渡され 岸本尚毅 選集「氷」
籐椅子にペルシャ猫をるメロンかな 富安風生「十三夜」
籐椅子に倚ればかならず眼をふさぐ 猿橋統流子
籐椅子に凭りて船待つとろとろ眼 稲垣きくの 黄 瀬
籐椅子に刺繍の海を刺し広ぐ 佐久間尚子
籐椅子に夜々ある湖の真暗がり 日置草崖
籐椅子に夜を大事にしてをりし 嶋田一歩
籐椅子に寝て人の世の浮き沈み 大野高洲
籐椅子に寝て人生を折り返す 高橋悦男「海光」
籐椅子に寝て母人に聞く話 京極杞陽
籐椅子に巻紙垂らしつつ読めり 岩崎照子
籐椅子に師あれば簷に富士青し 岸風三楼
籐椅子に形よき脚組みゐたり 長谷川櫂 蓬莱
籐椅子に心沈みて午寝かな 雑草 長谷川零餘子
籐椅子に手ぐさのほつれありにけり 軽部烏頭子
籐椅子に掛けて見馴れし物を見る 池内たけし
籐椅子に日影及びしが今は無し 青峰集 島田青峰
籐椅子に時計が鳴つて濃き没日 赤尾兜子
籐椅子に暮れゆく高嶺見てゐたり 及川貞 夕焼
籐椅子に母はながくも居たまはず 馬場移公子
籐椅子に海荒るる日の衿きよし 中嶋秀子
籐椅子に深々とあり去なんと思ふ 後藤夜半
籐椅子に深々沈むペイネ館 高澤良一 燕音
籐椅子に深くかけてぞ老いし人 温亭句集 篠原温亭
籐椅子に父とは杳き煙草の香 鈴木栄子
籐椅子に猫が待つなる吾家かな 久保より江
籐椅子に眠れば人に忘れられ 岩淵喜代子 螢袋に灯をともす
籐椅子に睡り破船の夢を見ぬ 鈴木鷹夫 渚通り
籐椅子に空の青さを揺らしけり 角浜ミツ
籐椅子に身を投げしかば四辺暮れ 皆吉爽雨
籐椅子に青山聳てり並びかく 岸風三楼 往来
籐椅子のある日冷たくなりにけり 辻恵美子(栴檀)
籐椅子のうしろ姿もなまめかし 岸風三楼 往来
籐椅子のどこか光りて部屋暗し 森田峠 避暑散歩
籐椅子のひとつ過去向き置かれけり 北村峰子
籐椅子のヌードモデルのガウンかな 浅井陽子
籐椅子の人に風ある二階かな 青峰集 島田青峰
籐椅子の人のごとくにむきあへる 成瀬正とし 星月夜
籐椅子の人みな本を得てしづか 波多野爽波 鋪道の花
籐椅子の位置を正して客を待つ 北川草魚
籐椅子の先生の前通らねば 千原 叡子
籐椅子の唯静かなる朝日かな 青峰集 島田青峰
籐椅子の家族のごとく古びけり 加藤三七子
籐椅子の母に及ばず扇風機 久米正雄 返り花
籐椅子の清閑に得し句一つ 日野草城「花氷」
籐椅子の窪みは父のくぼみかな 土生 重次
籐椅子の籐のほつれも飴色に 伊藤敬子
籐椅子の籐ほつれゐる遺品かな 滝川ふみ子
籐椅子の背につややかな窪みあり 染谷秀雄(屋根)
籐椅子の誘はれ欠伸噛みにけり 石川桂郎 含羞
籐椅子の身を包むやう拒むやう 蓬田紀枝子
籐椅子の身を拒むやう包むやう 蓬田紀枝子
籐椅子の軋みは己が身のきしみ 八染藍子
籐椅子の骨が鳴りしか吾が骨か 今瀬剛一
籐椅子もなくて畳にはらばひぬ 上村占魚 球磨
籐椅子も句机もいま山荘に 高木晴子 花 季
籐椅子やひと日かならず夕あり 井沢正江
籐椅子や一人立ちてもみだれ現る 栗生純夫 科野路
籐椅子や一日かならず夕べあり 井沢正江 一身
籐椅子や佐渡もろともに海かたぶく 栗生純夫 科野路
籐椅子や壁に貼られし慰問図画 皆川白陀
籐椅子や季節めぐりてきたりけり 京極杞陽 くくたち上巻
籐椅子や斎館広き縁を持つ 高浜年尾
籐椅子や旅にしありて今朝の雨 長谷川櫂 虚空
籐椅子や暮れて晩年まる見えに 西川五郎
籐椅子や母の愉しむ長電話 栗田 旻
籐椅子や沖のあをぞら虹消えず 佐野青陽人 天の川
籐椅子や海の傾き壁をなす 山口誓子
籐椅子や海鳴り近き子の眠り 寺山修司 未刊行初期作品
籐椅子や潮のなぎさは垣がくれ 木津柳芽 白鷺抄
籐椅子や背に故旧呼ぶ風の声 老川敏彦
籐椅子や船首はむきをかへてゐる 山口波津女
籐椅子や葉の囁きをひとりじめ 柳瀬富子
籐椅子や読むべきものに堀辰雄 安住敦
籐椅子や誰を待つとにあらねども 川口益広
籐椅子や青松毬を夕眺め 楠目橙黄子 橙圃
籐椅子や顔あぐるたび島一つ 細川加賀 生身魂
籐椅子を愛し身辺の句を愛す 安住敦
籐椅子を抜ける西日となりにけり 長谷川櫂 虚空
籐椅子を立ちて来し用忘れけり 安住敦
籐椅子飴色何々婚に関係なし 鈴木榮子(春燈)



Anonymous said...

drinking tea alone
on the month's first day...
green bamboo blinds

hitori nomu cha mo tsuitachi zo ao sudare

by Issa, 1817
Tr. David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

kago 籠 / 篭 / かご basket, baskets of all kinds
zaru ざる / 笊 bamboo baskets

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

details about
zashiki 座敷 guest room, drawing room, sitting room