Basic architecture of the Heian-era palace

The world where Sei Shōnagon lived and wrote had an elaborate range of protocols and rules. Especially relevant to MYOM is the way that architecture establishes people’s identities, allocates places for courtiers–both men and women–and also places barriers to direct communication. Here is a schematic model of what the Heian imperial palace looked like–note the veranda.

from the Penguin translation of The Pillow Book by Meredith McKinney

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