In relation, to the entertainment factor of daily life in shoin buildings, many of the architectural elements were the result of the increased desire to display personal possessions.  For example, the decorative platform or oshi-ita was originally no more than a portable wooden table or plank placed under the hanging scrolls that decorated the walls of the palace style  rooms as a platform for decorative or religious objects. Between the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries the oshi-ita began to be a built-in element that is now called the tokonoma alcove.  This new permanence was partly in result to the continuing interest in the acquisition and display of imported Chinese vertically mounted scroll paintings.  An accepted mode for arranging these objects of art was established, thus permanent facilities for their display became necessary.  Another element illustrating shoin's role in the desire to display are the chigai-dana (staggered shelves) to display personal possessions like books and tea utensils. In keeping with its origin as a tsukeshoin (desk alcove), the shoin was used for the display of writing materials. In addition, chodaigamae (decorative doors) were used as a display element unto itself and was typically ornately painted. Thus, originating with the tokonoma alcove, three elements evolved out of the function of display in order to create what are considered the four formal display elements of Shoin Architecture.

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