Questions to consider: In what specific ways do Japanese observe traditional societal and cultural values through the architecture of their homes? How does the natural environment affect daily living in Japan? Traditionally constructed of wood and paper. Modern homes are built mainly from steel and concrete. Must build structures that can withstand earthquakes. Exterior -[urban and suburban] are usually built near one another-most have small Japanese-style gardens as front yards-enclosed by walls = sense of personal space-must be admitted through a front gate-usually have a 表札(name plate) at the entrance; identifying the family name-older homes on the country side tend to be larger and only one level Interior-きゃくま or ざしき is a formal Japanese style receiving room-floor is 畳（たたみ）- straw mats-ざぶとん (floor cushion) or ざいす (legless chairs) *unless offered to sit more comfortably, you would sit in the seiza (formal) position. ざひき-とこのま (alcove) has a かけじく (scroll), seasonal flower arrangement and other pieces of art*focal point of the ざひき-the most honored guest sits closest to the とこのまbut it's never sit upon-ぶつだん(Buddhist altar) displays the いはい(memorial tablets) and is where older family members will pray and remember their deceased ancestors. -神棚 （かみだな）- small wooden Shinto shrine-both may have offerings of food, flowers or green foliage-ふすま (opaque, elegantly designed sliding doors)/しょじ(paper or glass sliding doors)-sometimes a guest bedroom with a futton (bedding) Other rooms:-kitchen (considered for family use only)-family living room-寝室(bedroom) are usually western style with the master bedroom may be a Japanese style 畳 room-ふろば (bathing area) and toilet area are separate *Combination of Western and Japanese architecture. However, Japanese homes still express the Japanese values of living in natural surroundings and privacy from the outside world.