Carl Bergstrom wrote:
The aim of a tokonoma display is not merely to capture and contain the attention. Rather, it is to focus the attention by capturing a microcosm of the natural world in a trio of objects; once the mind is focused, it is free to on beyond the tokonoma. The window provides an egress.
Sorry, I can't comprehend this one. I can't grasp the differences between giving attention and focussing. But the doubt I will point out is still the escape or egress aspect mentioned here. I prefer to keep it simple by saying that light is the primary aim of the window.
So I shift now to the amount and direction(s) of the incoming light:
I would not go as far as analyzing day light directions as Andrew did. I have seen Tokonoma with spotlights or neon bar on the roof of it, kept well unvisible from the front, because it is placed behind a bar. So, if you are talking about direction of the light sources, and try to understand the aesthetic aspect of it, why excludes this light source in your analysis ? It appears to me that the Japanese use both directions, from above and from aside, maybe not on the same time, but still there are 2 possibly light sources.
To me, a light source from aside is simply beautiful like any photographer may choose, namely because it provides shades and shadows. In drawing one generally makes use of shadow and shades to create more ?thickness? through perspective. It is the beauty of these shades that I like in the Tokonoma, too.