NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/5/10

引手 Hikite Hikite

Jp En


Hikite is a door pull added to sliding doors to help open and close them with a pulling motion. Wood door pulls were common in ancient periods but in general door pulls were made of metal. Hikite is set in a sliding door so that it does not hit or scuff the other sliding door when the door is pulled open.

The original form of a sliding door first appeared in the 8th to 9th centuries, when the door had no pulls and people held the frame of the door to open and close it. A door pull appeared in the 13th century during the Kamakura period. Then in Azuchi-Momoyama period (1568-1598), when the Japanese tea ceremony was established, elaborate designs were given to sliding doors and door pulls. A door pull became an important element of interior decoration and elaborately decorated door pulls were made during this period.

Today, with the trend of new understanding of Japanese traditional culture, a Japanese-styled room has also attracted attention of young people and various kinds of door pulls are being made. Those include traditional ones with family crests, boat-shaped, and round ones. There are even white and square pulls in modern design, animal-shaped, and the ones made of cloisonné.

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