Is this antique door from China or Japan?

country of origin

While I was doing my daily surfing at pinterest yesterday, I came across with the wonderful antique door above and I repinned to my “doors to adore” board which I collect adorable characteristic doors from all around the world. The photo was originally pinned as Chinese door, however I got a comment from a friend from Pinterest community that the door was not actually Chinese it was in fact Japanese. So I went back to original source but unfortunately could not locate any information about it. Finally, this morning I researched  the difference between the Chinese and Japanese calligraphy and figured out that the letters in fact more like Japanese. However, I must say it is pretty hard to tell as Japanese writing uses a mixture of hiragana, katakana, and kanji in the same text therefore some letters could actually be confusing when it is compared with Chinese. So I thank Tammy Winand, the author of CrypticFragments blog for her comment and warning. Now, I would like to check with my wordpress community, friends I contact with in social media if anybody knows anything about this door? Where it is located and what it says on its text? I really appreciate your time and  assistance who will help me out about my curiosity. Have a great day to everybody!!!

my pinterest account

“Is this antique door from China or Japan?” için 10 cevap

    • what a great comment! I really liked it:) I would love to listen this song… That must be one of the reason why I like doors so much. I m always curious about what is behind? But I think what interests me the most is its mysteriousity and sparks creates my curiousty…

  1. Dearest Tijen, as i mentioned today morning – my sister could lift the mysteriousity … she told me this door is from japan most likely from kyoto and most likely a womans bathplace ( sort of hammam) :)))

  2. The characters are Chinese, the top three words mean “Silver Foundry”, and since it is written horizontally from left to right, that shows that the writing is modern (traditionally, horizontal Chinese writings were from right to left). Now, that is about the writing, and not necessarily the door, which could be older than the writing.

    Now, about the vertical couplet, again, traditionally we start from the right hand side, but the author used the modern way, left to right (which is a bad practice when dealing with classical things of this sort, found only in China today). So, the left, or the first line says, “Practiced in a hole”, and the right, or the second line says, “Forged in a pot”. So there we have it: the couplet is a sort of riddle, they say something about the art of silver smithing, and the top three words give us the answer: “Silver Foundry”. This sort of schema is called “dui-lian” (vertical couplet), and “heng-pi” (the horizontal “caption” or “punch line”).

    Now of course, just because all these is consistent with Chinese culture, they don’t rule out that the whole thing could still be Japanese, because as we well know, really old Classical Japanese poetry used Chinese characters almost exclusively. In the old days, Chinese is the prestigious language to use amongst Japanese literati. Chinese was very much like Latin in old Europe, the scholarly language. However, I don’t think the door is Japanese, because if the Japanese used Chinese characters, they would have written from right to left, in the traditional Chinese way. So my guess is that the door is not really antique, and it is most likely to be in China today, because people in Taiwan and Hong Kong will not write from left to right when dealing with this classical genre.

Leave a Reply