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    Glossary Term
    Byobu - Decorative freestanding room dividers or wall decorations with two, three, four, six, or eight painted panels.

    -Byobu-
    (Also "byoubu" and "byobu-e")

    English Definition:
    Decorative freestanding room dividers or wall decorations with two, three, four, six, or eight painted panels.

    Early folding screens were rather awkward and heavy. Panels were linked together at the corners with silk or leather cords. The holes for these cords were reinforced by wooden washers shaped like Japanese coins, in what is known as zenigata ("coin-shaped") construction. The panels were usually edged with silk brocade that separated the panels compositionally. Beginning in the 14th century layers of strong paper were stretched over light wooden frames. These panels were then linked with overlaping and interlocking strips of paper pasted between the panels. When the screen was unfolded, a single, unbroken surface with no intrusive borders resulted. With few modifications, this method of construction is still used.

    Click here to see Byobu made by the master woodworkers of Kyoto.






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