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Shoes are removed on entering a Japanese home

Abstract

As one enters a Japanese home, one removes one's shoes in the entry way foyer, then steps up into the house, stepping into slippers that are worn only in the house. If one is visiting, the street shoes usually would be left on the floor in the foyer, with the shoe toes pointed away from the interior of the house, so that they can be stepped into easily as one leaves. If it is one's own home, the shoes usually would be placed in the cabinet next to the step. -- This custom has to do with the ideals of "purity," not allowing "dirt" from the outside to enter the house. This includes not only physical dirt but also, just as importantly, it includes the ideal of leaving psychic and emotional involvements with the outside world as one enters the sanctity of the home. In that sense, the removal of one's shoes is a symbolic separation from the concerns of the everyday world as one enters one's home.

Note

May be used for non-commercial, educational purposes only, in accord with Fair Use policies. Acknowledgement to be given to IDEAS Project and to the photographer. Photographer retains copyright.

Administrative Notes

May be used for non-commercial, educational purposes only, in accord with Fair Use policies. Acknowledgement to be given to IDEAS Project and to the photographer. Photographer retains copyright.

Copyright
Copyright restrictions apply.
Publisher
Earlham College
PID
coccc:22840
Extent
748 w x 1125 h, 150ppi