Undivided Attention

By Arlene Hirst / Published by Dwell – January 23, 2017Screen Shot 2017-02-23 at 5.32.05 PM.png

New York mainstay Miya Shoji continues to hone the art of Japanese screen-making.
Shojis, employed as room dividers, window coverings, and doors, have long been popular for the way they filter light while still providing privacy. Their use in Japan dates back to the 12th century, but they weren’t widely introduced in the Western world until the mid-1850s. The quintessential shoji—it means “screen” in Japanese—is made of translucent paper and a single wood frame, bonded together with a rice-based glue.

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Founded in 1951, Miya Shoji uses traditional Japanese furniture-building techniques to craft its signature shoji screens. Carpenters at its 3,000-square-foot facility in Queens fashion lap joints and tenons by hand to fit the pieces together.

Photo: Brian W. Ferry

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