Chigi, Okichigi or Higi are forked roof finials found in Japanese and Shinto Architecture. Chigi predate Buddhist are an architectural element endemic to Japan, they are an important aesthetic aspect of Shinto shrines, where they are paired with katsuogi, another type of roof ornamentation. Today and katsuogi are used on Shinto buildings and distinguish them from other religious structures, such as Buddhist temples in Japan. Chigi are thought to have been employed on Japanese buildings starting from the 1st century AD, their existence during the Jōmon period is well documented by numerous artifacts. Measurements for chigi were mentioned in an early document, the Taishinpō Enryaku Gishikichō, written in 804 AD; the evolutionary origins of the chigi are not known. One theory is that they were interlocking bargeboard planks that were left uncut. Another is, yet another theory proposes that they were used to hold thatch roofing together. Evidence of this can be seen in minka, or common traditional homes, where two interlocking timbers are found at the roof gables.
However, the only certain fact is that chigi were a working part of the structure, but as building techniques improved, their function was lost and they were left as decorations. Chigi were only to have decorated the homes and warehouses of powerful families, more decorations signified higher rank; this traditional continued until recent times. In the 17th to 19th centuries, the legal code dictated how many chigi were allowed on a building roofs in accordance with the owner's social rank. Today, chigi are found only on Shinto shrines. Chigi may be built directly into the roof as part of the structure, or attached and crossed over the gable as an ornament; the former method is believed to closer resemble its original design, is still utilized in older building methods such as shinmei-zukuri, kasuga-zukuri, taisha-zukuri. Chigi that aren't built into the building are crossed, sometimes cut with a slight curve. While chigi are predominantly placed only at the ends of the roof, this method allows them to sometimes be placed in the middle as well.
More ornate chigi, such as at Ise Shrine, are cut with one or two kaza-ana, or "wind-slots", a third open cut at the tip, giving it a forked appearance. Gold metal coverings serve both ornamental purposes. If the tops are cut vertically, the enshrined kami is a male, otherwise a female; the katsuogi, a short decorative log, is found behind the chigi. Depending on the building, there may be only one katsuogi accompanying the chigi, or an entire row along the ridge of the roof. Names for chigi can vary from region. In Kyoto, Nara Prefecture, Hiroshima, they are called uma. In parts of Toyama, Osaka, Kōchi and Miyazaki prefectures, they are called umanori. Katsuogi Shinto architecture Shinto shrine The Glossary of Shinto for terms concerning Shinto and Shinto architecture
The karahafu is a type of gable with a style peculiar to Japan. The characteristic shape is the undulating curve at the top; this gable is common in traditional architecture, including Japanese castles, Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines. Roofing materials such as tile and bark may be used as coverings; the face beneath the gable may be flush with the wall below. Although kara can be translated as meaning "China" or "Tang", this type of roof with undulating bargeboards is an invention of Japanese carpenters in the late Heian period, it was named thus because the word kara could mean "noble" or "elegant", was added to names of objects considered grand or intricate regardless of origin. The karahafu developed during the Heian period and is shown in picture scrolls to decorate gates and palanquins; the first known depiction of a karahafu appears on a miniature shrine in Shōryoin shrine at Hōryū-ji in Nara. The karahafu and its building style became popular during the Kamakura and Muromachi period, when Japan witnessed a new wave of influences from the Asian continent.
During the Kamakura period, Zen Buddhism spread to Japan and the karahafu was employed in many Zen temples. The karahafu was used only in temples and aristocratic gateways, but starting from the beginning of the Azuchi–Momoyama period, it became an important architectural element in the construction of a daimyō's mansions and castles; the daimyō's gateway with a karahafu roof was reserved for the shōgun during his onari visits to the retainer, or for the reception of the emperor at shogunate establishments. A structure associated with these social connections imparted special meaning. Gates with a karahafu roof, the karamon, became a means to proclaim the prestige of a building and functioned as a symbol of both religious and secular architecture. In the Tokugawa shogunate, the karamon gates were a powerful symbol of authority reflected in architecture. Karamon Japanese architecture Japanese castle
A dōjō is a hall or space for immersive learning or meditation. This is traditionally in the field of martial arts, but has been seen in other fields, such as meditation and software development; the term means "place of the Way" in Japanese. The word dōjō originates from Buddhism. Dōjō were adjunct to temples and were formal training place for any of the Japanese arts ending in "-dō", from the Chinese Tao, meaning "way" or "path". Sometimes meditation halls where Zen Buddhists practice zazen meditation were called dōjō; the alternative term zen-do is more specific, more used. European Sōtō Zen groups affiliated with the International Zen Association prefer to use dōjō instead of zendo to describe their meditation halls as did their founding master, Taisen Deshimaru. In Japan, any facility for physical training, including professional wrestling, may be called a dōjō. In the Western world, the term dōjō is used for Japanese martial arts such as aikidō, judō, karate-dō, etc. In American culture, the dojo was popularized by a young Jon Pep.
This is the origin of the phrase “sweep the leg Johnny”. A proper Japanese martial arts dōjō is well cared for by its users. Shoes are not worn in a dōjō. In many styles it is traditional to conduct a ritual cleaning of the dōjō at the beginning and/or end of each training session. Besides the obvious hygienic benefits of regular cleaning it serves to reinforce the fact that dōjō are supposed to be supported and managed by the student body, not the school's instructional staff; this attitude has become lost in many modern dōjō that are founded and run by a small group of people or instructors. In fact, it is not uncommon that in traditional schools, dōjō are used for training at all, instead being reserved for more symbolic or formal occasions; the actual training is conducted outdoors or in a less formal area. Many traditional dōjō follow a prescribed pattern with shomen and various entrances that are used based on student and instructor rank laid out precisely. Students will enter in the lower-left corner of the dōjō with instructors in the upper right corner.
Shomen contains a Shintō shrine with a sculpture, flower arrangement, or other artifacts. The term kamiza means "place of honor" and a related term, kamidana refers to the shrine itself. Other artifacts may be displayed throughout the dōjō, such as kanban that authorize the school in a style or strategy, items such as taiko drums or armor, it is not uncommon to find the name of the dōjō and the dōjō kun displayed prominently at shomen as well. Visitors may have a special place reserved, depending on their station. Weapons and other training gear will be found on the back wall. A honbu dōjō is the central training facility and administrative headquarters of a particular martial arts style; some well-known dōjō located in Japan are: Kodokan Judo Institute Aikikai Hombu Dōjō Noma Dōjō Nakazato Karate Weapons Gym Other names for training halls that are equivalent to "dojo" include the following: Akhara Dojang Gelanggang Heya Kalari Sasaran Wuguan The term dōjō is increasingly used for other forms of immersive-learning space.
The term dōjō is sometimes used to describe the meditation halls where Zen Buddhists practice zazen meditation. The alternative term zen-do is more specific, more used. European Sōtō Zen groups affiliated with the International Zen Association prefer to use dōjō instead of zendo to describe their meditation halls as did their founding master, Taisen Deshimaru. Coding dōjō: a space and associated technique for groups to practice computer programming skills Testing dōjō: a space and time where testers work together on a testing challenge Agile coaching dōjō: a space where a cross-functional team works for up to three months, surrounded by an agile coach and technical subject matter experts, to learn and practice agile and technical practices
A sandō in Japanese architecture is the road approaching either a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple. Its point of origin is straddled in the first case by a Shinto torii, in the second by a Buddhist sanmon, gates which mark the beginning of the shrine's or temple territory; the word dō can refer both to a path or road, to the path of one's life's efforts. There can be stone lanterns and other decorations at any point along its course. A sandō can be called a front sandō, if it is the main entrance, or a rear sandō if it is a secondary point of entrance to the rear; the famous Omotesandō district in Tokyo, for example, takes its name from the nearby main access path to Meiji Shrine where an ura-sandō used to exist. Shendao, a decorated road to a grave of an emperor or another dignitary in China
Shide is a zigzag-shaped paper streamer seen attached to shimenawa or tamagushi, used in Shinto rituals. A popular ritual is using a haraegushi, or "lightning wand", named for the zig-zag shide paper that adorns the wand. A similar wand, used by miko for purification and blessing, is the gohei with two shide. A Shinto priest waves the haraegushi over a person, item, or newly bought property, such as a building or car; the wand is waved at a slow rhythmic pace, but with a little force so that the shide strips make a rustling noise on each pass of the wand. For new properties, a similar ritual known as jijin sai is performed with a haraegushi, an enclosed part of the land, sake, or ritually purified sake known as o-miki; the haraegushi has been used for centuries in Shinto ceremonies and has similarities in Ainu culture. In Ainu culture, a shaved willow branch called an inaw or inau resembles the Shinto haraegushi, is used in similar blessing rituals. Media related to Shide at Wikimedia Commons
Shimenawa are lengths of laid rice straw or hemp rope used for ritual purification in the Shinto religion. They can vary in diameter from a few centimetres to several metres, are seen festooned with shide. A space bound by shimenawa indicates a sacred or pure space, such as that of a Shinto shrine. Shimenawa are believed to act as a ward against evil spirits and are set up at a ground-breaking ceremony before construction begins on a new building, they are found at Shinto shrines, torii gates, sacred landmarks. They are used around yorishiro; these notably include certain trees, in which case the inhabiting spirits are called kodama, cutting down these trees is thought to bring misfortune. In cases of stones, the stones are known as iwakura. A variation of the shimenawa is used in sumo wrestling by yokozuna during their entrance ceremonies to denote their rank; this is because the yokozuna is seen as a living yorishiro, as such is inhabited by a spirit. Media related to Shimenawa at Wikimedia Commons Kamidana Kanjo Nawa - a custom utilizing Shimenawa Saekki Kasulis, Thomas P..
Shinto: The Way Home. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2794-5. Encyclopedia of Shinto