Daruma Nagaya



Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Row Houses, long houses, nagaya 
長屋 ながや

tenement houses, a long row of one-story cottages or apartments. Up to 50 rooms could be joined in one long house (gojikken nagaya 五十間長屋).

Long houses, row houses were a speciality of the Edo period, where many people had to live in the ever-growing city. To prevent crime, nagaya people where often of the same rural area and knew each other. They used the same well. At each entrance of the middle road was a gate (nagaya mon 長屋門) which could be bolted at night for further safety.

The entrance to my own rural estate here in the mountains is also called "nagaya mon".

The comical events of life in the Nagaya were often part of Senryu and Rakugo stories.

... ... ...

Click on the photo to see more !


While almost the entire shita-machi area of Edo can be roughly described as "working class", few areas are as representative of the hard-working day laborers who keep the city running smoothly. The neighborhoods of Edo are divided into cho ("towns") that average about one hectare in size (2.5 acres). Each cho has its own local leaders and its own local services such as the ban-nin ("town watch", or police) and the shobo-nin (firefighters).

Most cho are further divided into about a dozen ban ("blocks" of houses). In Fukagawa, most of the ban are occupied by five or ten row houses (nagaya). These are long, two-story buildings that contain up to a hundred individual "apartments". Usually, two row houses are built around a central square with one or more wells and some green space between the two buildings where people can relax and socialize, and where the children can play.

The central square between the row houses is the focus of daily life for residents. Most nagaya have only small windows facing the street, while the doors of each apartment face the central square. The central square is semi-paved, and has a few small trees and shrubs. At one end of the square is a large well, which everyone in the "block" uses for washing and drinking water.

At the other end of the square is a public toilet. In most residential districts of Edo, public toilets are the norm. The people of Edo do not dump their sewage into the rivers or oceans, as is done in many other cities around the world. Instead, all human waste is collected, composted and recycled as manure for farming. This is one reason why Edo has a relatively low incidence of disease -- there is no sewage to pollute the water supply or serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. In this sense, sanitation in Edo is far more advanced than in most other parts of the world. Manure collectors visit the neighborhood once a week, and carry away the waste to a composting area in the countryside. This keeps the entire town clean and sanitary.

The apartments in the nagaya are very small. Each individual unit has a single room about six tatami mats in size. A tatami is a heavy straw mat used on the floor of most Japanese homes. Since the mats are always made to a specific size, rooms are often measured in terms of the number of tatami on the floor. A six-tatami room is about 3.5 meters (12 feet) square.

Typically, an entire family -- parents, children and perhaps grandparents as well -- will live in one of these rooms. However, in cases where several adult siblings live in the same "block", they may share the cost of a separate third apartment for the grandparents.

These relatively crowded conditions are one reason why the central suare is the focus of daily life. Houses are too small for the family to spend all day indoors. In fact, the apartments are mainly used just for sleeping. All other daily chores are done in the central square.In the evenings, after a hard day's work, the men will bring out mats and spread them on the ground, then spend the evening talking to their neighbors, smoking, sipping sake and eating the food that the women of the neighborhood have prepared.
source : www.us-japan.org/edomatsu/

A famous Scroll

A Tour of Duty: Kurume Hanshi Edo Kinban Nagaya Emaki


................. "Murder in the Daruma Long House"
Story nr. 405 in the long series of stories about the Edo period detective
Zenigata Heiji

だるま長屋殺人事件 Daruma Nagaya Satsujin Jiken
銭形平次 / 第405話 

Zenigata Heiji and Kanda Myoojin Shrine





The Ghost Long House / O-Bake Nagaya お化け長屋

A famous Rakugo Story.

長屋の中の一軒が空き家になっている。長屋の連中はこの空き家を漬物樽の置き場に したり、物干し竿の置き場にしたりしていた。それが大家さんに知れて、以後使用は まかりならんということになったが、困るのは長屋の連中でしてね、一計を案じた。

... ... ...

Poor tenants' sakura viewing party
Nagaya no Hanami 長屋の花見

古典落語の〔長屋の花見〕貧乏長屋の大家さんが音頭を取って、一同、花見に出かけました。上野のお山に来たものの、一升瓶の中身は番茶、重箱に詰めた卵焼きの つもりの黄色いたくあん。かまぼこの形に切った大根のおこうこ。
これでご馳走食べて、酔ったふりして浮かれろってんで ...。なんとも残酷な話しです。ボリボリ音をたてないで、 おこうこのかまぼこを食べる苦労!「おっと、このかまぼこは漬け過ぎて酸っぱい」なんて....。かまぼこファンのあなたもぼくも、江戸時代に生まれないで「シアワセだなァ!」


yarido  遣り戸, 鑓戸, 槍戸
sliding door made of wood, at the outside of a home or estate
nowadays an amado 雨戸 "rain door"

yaridoguchi 遣り戸口 entrance/exit with a yarido
first used in the Heian period

kamoi 鴨居 a narrow piece of wood that passes over the sliding doors and around an entire Japanese room.

. KIGO about the Japanese Home .


. . . . . H A I K U

akikaze no yarido no kuchi ya togarigoe

autumn wind
through the opening of the sliding door -
this piercing sound

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written in寛文7年, Basho age 24

This is a pun with the sound YARI, which can also mean a spear 槍, piercing through the door to hit an enemy.

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


asa-gasumi tenshu no amado kikoe keri

morning mist--
the castle's shutters
bang open

Tr. David Lanoue

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .


hito-nagaya joo o oroshite odori kana

The whole tenement house,
Having locked their doors,
Are dancing and dancing.

. Kikaku Takarai Kikaku 宝井其角 .
(Tr. Blyth)

Locks of the Edo Period / joomae 錠前


Rakugo, comic storytelling performances Japan

. Storehouse, warehouse (kura 蔵) .
joomae 錠前 locks of the Edo Period

source : maboroshi-ch.com

. - - - Welcome to Edo 江戸 ! .
ooya, Ōya 大家 Oya, landlord
tanago 店子 tenant




Unknown said...

Nagaya is symbol of Edo life.
This is well eddited note that I like very much.
Thank you Gabi san for sharing.


Gabi Greve - Edopedia said...

wakamizu o jinushi no ato de ooya kumi

after the land owner
the caretaker goes
to draw first water

The First Lunar Month 一月 ichigatsu - 睦月 mutsuki -
in Edo

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

shimogoe tori 下肥取り collector of human manure, night soil collector
The ooya 大家 landlord representative of a nagaya long houses living quarters in Edo had to take care of the smooth transportation of the night soil and made a good extra money with it (糞尿代 funnyoo dai).
shitting and pissing in Edo

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

daidokoro 台所 the Japanese kitchen
- Introduction -

- - - - part of the entry about
. Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

daidokoro 台所 the Japanese kitchen
- Introduction -

- - - - part of the entry about
. Interior Design - The Japanese Home .

Gabi Greve said...

At the Fukagawa Edo Museum, exhibition,
"Nagaya~As Housing and as Living"

深川江戸資料館, 「長屋~住まいと暮らし~」,
November 10, 2015 to November 13, 2016

Gabi Greve said...

kimon-sumi no nagaya 鬼門隅の長屋 Nagaya in the Kimon corner

Gabi Greve said...

Edo Ukita choo 宇喜田町 Ukita Cho district
The name refers to the developer of new fields in the Edo period
宇田川喜兵衛 Utagawa Kihei
Kihei was a retainer of the Hojo Clan and Tokugawa Ieyasu gave him this wilderness, where reeds grew, to 新田開発 develop new fields.
In the beginning, the area was called
宇喜新田 Uki Shinden
Later when more farmers moved here, it became 宇喜田村 Ukita mura village.

The Utagawa family lived here in their special estate in 江戸川区江戸川五丁目 the fifth sub-district of Edogawa district.
Their nagayamon 長屋門 entrance gate is still there.