Why do the Japanese Have Paper Walls?

in short:

The paper acts as a barrier between the space and its environment, allowing for greater temperature control and reduced street noise. Sliding doors can be used for privacy or convenience; they provide convenient access when needed and protect against elements like the wind.

Another reason for paper walls is that they are cheap to make and replace.

It might be a pain in the neck when you have to move house, but it’s better than demolishing your entire home just because of one or two broken wooden walls!

Of course, there are specific rules for building with these “walls.”

Where can paper be used in Japan?


Paper walls should not be used as the entire wall covering for a house.

The paper can cover wooden panels, but it has to be backed by other materials such as plywood or plasterboard (or whatever you call it).

The building paper must not have any tears or breakages and must not be torn or ripped. I don’t think there is a punishment for this, but if your friends were to try and get through the paper walls, you wouldn’t like it!

Building paper can also be used in houses built with Western-style wooden walls. However, it has to be noted that these walls must be covered by plasterboard before being covered with paper.

Building paper can also be a good option for a temporary house.

For example, if you are building a new home with no electricity or running water, you can use paper walls until everything is ready.

Of course, you must remember that you cannot make any significant changes to the house, or else you will have broken the rule allowing temporary dwellings.

Why do the Japanese use sliding doors?


The reason they have sliding doors isn’t that the Japanese are obsessed with privacy. It is done so you can open their homes for more excellent ventilation (to cool them down on hot summer nights, perhaps?). 

Of course, you could open up all your windows, but how much privacy would you have then?

What are Japanese paper walls called?

The paper is called “Shōji. There are Japanese paper doors called, and Japanese room dividers called.

Why are Japanese walls made of paper?

They are made of paper because the Japanese want the best insulation without spending too much money. It might not look charming on the outside, but it does serve its purpose very well!

Do people still use Shōji?

They are used daily and can be found in homes across Japan. I think it’s pretty cool that these “paper walls” have been around for a long time, and I hope we will continue using them for many years to come!

Do Japanese still live in paper houses?

No, they do not. Of course, paper houses are only allowed for temporary living and cannot be used to build a home!

How do Japanese homes stay warm with paper walls?


Traditional Japanese homes in the winter had a warm fireplace called an irori.

People would gather around it and be warmed by hot coals from wood burning on top of them, allowing them to stay toasty despite the outside temperatures!

Small tables may also be placed inside so you won’t have a massive gap between yourself when sitting under your favorite quilts for hours together; they are known as ‘kotatsu.’

What is the purpose of a kotatsu?


It is a small table you can sit under to keep you warm on cold winter nights. It comes with its quilt and has holes for your legs to move around.

You would need more than one kotatsu if several people are trying to share one; you can fit up to four people under one, so I recommend buying them in pairs if you’re planning on hosting a party!

One important rule of having a kotatsu is not to warm your legs under the heater while wearing socks.

You should wear appropriate floor slippers or go barefoot instead. Of course, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t go outside with wet feet either!

Do people still use Kotatsu?

They are still used daily, and it’s also widespread to see Japanese sitting around the kotatsu during New Year.

Is Kotatsu popular in other countries?

They are popular in some parts of Asia but are much more common in Japan. There isn’t a standard version of the kotatsu; people make their designs to suit their homes.

What is a Kotatsu table?

It’s one of those tables where you’ll frequently see Japanese families sitting around during cold winter! The ‘kotatsu’ itself, essentially just an open fire, is placed inside the table, and the kotatsu quilt covers contain the heat.

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