"In the traditional fields, this style of etiquette is something you will encounter frequently. In the past, it was something done every day, not just by those priviliged. No matter what their size or shape, Japanese doors of all kinds are opened in the same way: you kneel at the crack of the door and push it open, then you come into the room by sliding forward on your knees. This is quite a simplified description of entering a room, as any exponent of a truly classical Way or art of Japan will tell you. There are all kinds of manners to be observed in this simple action of opening a door and coming into a room if you are to observe the protocol of ancient Japan. The point is, to the Japanese of the feudal period, even an ordinary, everyday task like entering a room had a significance and a prescribed order that evolved about it. Look at it this way: it would be very easy to make a flashy, imposing entrance through a Japanese style door. You could sling open the door along its track with a vigorous shove, banging it against the supporting frame with a dramatic thump! Remember, too, that people sit on the floor in a traditional Japanese home. If you come striding into the room standing up, you are going to tower over everyone sitting there. You will be imposing. You will have the attention of everyone in the room. Literally, everyone there would, indeed, be in the position of looking up to you. To many, this would, indeed, seem a most attractive way to ‘make an entrance’, so they must wonder why it is that etiquette demands just the opposite. The answer is that manners in Japan, a good many of them at least, have always been directed at maintaining and preserving social harmony. Getting along with the other fellow was important, and important, too, was the concept that the individual self was not so significant as the welfare of the group.The higher in the social order the individual, then, the more humble and self-effacing he often was in his conduct. The “classier” the person, the less he needed to display himself. And such customs is what we still use to this very day."
— Learning about etiquette - have you ever observed the way maiko and geiko open the zashiki doors? Here’s a quote from a great article that explains it, read the full article here :http://www.koryu.com/library/dlowry6.html