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Are they same meaning? How to distinguish when using them?

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A room created using traditional Japanese architecture, interior design, construction materials. More of an objective/neutral term relating to the style/structure of the physical room. Japanese houses nowadays are more or less westernized. They are built using modern construction techniques and styles but usually there will be one or more rooms that are created using traditional Japanese style or 日本間. Inherently, these rooms serve certain purposes in the context of a Japanese home. Furthermore, in relation to the other rooms in the house, you can refer to a 日本間 as 和室.


This also means Japanese-style room, but is used as a general term to differentiate from a non-和室 room. For example, modern houses in Japan have bedrooms which have wooden/carpet floors and you sleep on a bed. This would be 洋室. Another example is when you stay at an inn or hotel, you can have a 和室 or 洋室.


This refers to a gathering place to enjoy drinks or food in the company of others; naturally it is a Japanese-style room but 座敷 itself doesn't refer to the Japanese nature of the room itself but more of the setting. お座敷 is used often to refer to the setting of an event, drinking party 宴{うたげ}, and also commonly heard is お座敷{ざしき}遊{あそ}び or the games/activities played in the presence of 芸者{げいしゃ}.

Now, this is the common/current interpretation of 座敷. But if you want to know the origins of 座敷, it actually refers to the floor: a floor made of 畳{たたみ} as opposed to wooden planks for the purposes of sitting and socializing. So in this sense, there is a connection to a Japanese-style room. You can research the etymology of 座敷 as there is more historical context which I did not explain here.

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