Shikiru (To mark off)

A way to mark off an area without using a physical barrier while joining the spaces together

When a prohibited area is marked off in Japan, rather than using a physical barrier such as a wall or a door, an ambiguous marker is used which can easily be breached.

One example of this is a partition called kekkai. Kekkai are made of things which can easily be crossed such as pebbles, bamboo, or rope. An example of a kekkai is sekimori ishi (a small heart-sized stone tied with black string). If a Japanese person were to find a sekimori ishi placed somewhere such as in a temple garden, they would know not to go any further. Similarly,

the Japanese are also taught that it is rude to peak over a screen in somebody else’s home, something that is of course easy to do if one wanted to. As a marking device, some people may think that kekkai is ineffective. What this form of marking off does is prompt the person to draw an imaginary line themselves.