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 shōrō, shurō or kanetsuki-dō is the bell tower of a Buddhist temple in Japan, housing the temple's bonshō. It can be found at some Shinto shrines which used to be shrines, as for example Nikkō Tōshō-gū. Two main types exist, the older hakamagoshi, which has walls, the more recent fukihanachi or fukinuki, which does not. During the Nara period after the arrival of Buddhism in Japan bell towers were 3 x 2 bay, 2 storied buildings. A typical temple garan had two, one to the left and one to the right of the kyōzō, the sūtra repository. An extant example of this style is Hōryū-ji's Sai-in Shōrō in Nara. During the following Heian period was developed a new style called hakamagoshi which consisted of a 2 storied, hourglass-shaped building with the bell hanging from the second story; the earliest extant example is Hōryū-ji's Tō-in Shōrō. During the 13th century the fukihanachi type was created at Tōdai-ji by making all structural parts visible; the bell tower in this case consists of a 1-ken wide, 1-ken high structure with no walls and having the bell at its center.
Sometimes the four pillars have an inward inclination called uchikorobi. After the Nara period, in which temple layout was rigidly prescribed after the Chinese fashion, the position of the bell tower stopped being prescribed and began to change temple by temple. Roofs are either gabled or hip-and-gable
The Kii Peninsula is the largest peninsula on the island of Honshū in Japan. It is named after the ancient Kii Province; the area south of the “Central Tectonic Line” is called Nanki, includes the most poleward living coral reefs in the world due to the presence of the warm Kuroshio Current, though these are threatened by global warming and human interference. Because of the Kuroshio’s strong influence, the climate of Nankii is the wettest in the Earth’s subtropics with rainfall in the southern mountains believed to reach 5 metres per year and averaging 3.85 metres in the southeastern town of Owase, comparable to Ketchikan, Alaska or Tortel in southern Chile. When typhoons hit Japan, the Kii Peninsula is the worst affected area and daily rainfalls as high as 940 millimetres are not unknown. Most of the Kii Peninsula is dense temperate rainforest since the climate in the limited lowlands is too wet for agriculture, much of the coast consists of networks of small rias into which flow steep and rapid streams characterised by a large number of high waterfalls.
Forestry and fishing were the traditional economic mainstays of the region and remain important today despite a declining population and labour force. Wakayama Prefecture occupies much including the entire southern part. To the northwest of Wakayama Prefecture is Osaka Prefecture, whose southern part is on the peninsula. East of Osaka Prefecture is landlocked Nara Prefecture; the Seto Inland Sea lies to the west of the Kii Peninsula. To the south and east is the Pacific Ocean and to the north is the valley of the Kiso Three Rivers and Ise Bay. Notable places in the Kii Peninsula include: Nara, former capital of Japan. Mount Kōya, the headquarters of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Wakayama, former home of the Kii Tokugawa clan, it is the location of the Hinokuma Shrine, affiliated to the Grand Shrine of Ise. Matsuzaka, now the center of a major beef-producing area the center of Ise merchants. Ise, the location of the Grand Shrine of Ise and center of pearl production. Yoshino District, a wild area of forested deep mountains, home of the Southern Imperial Court during the Nanboku-chō period of Japanese history.
Kumano Region, home of the Kumano Shrines and the Nachi Waterfall. Another name is Muro District. Kushimoto, the southernmost point in Honshū. Taiji, the birthplace of the Japanese traditional whaling; the Kii Peninsula is the location of a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range. In 2004, UNESCO designated three other locations on the Kii Peninsula as World Heritage Sites, they are: mountainous areas in the north of the peninsula. Kumano Shrines, three shrines at the southern tip of the peninsula. Mount Kōya, the mountain at the west of the peninsula Nanki-Shirahama Airport in Shirahama serves the southern part of the Kii Peninsula. Kisei Main Line runs along the peninsula's coastline. Visit Wakayama Tanabe City Kumano Tourism Bureau
A hokora or hokura is a miniature Shinto shrine either found on the precincts of a larger shrine and dedicated to folk kami, or on a street side, enshrining kami not under the jurisdiction of any large shrine. Dōsojin, minor kami protecting travelers from evil spirits, can for example be enshrined in a hokora; the term hokora, believed to have been one of the first Japanese words for Shinto shrine, evolved from hokura meaning "kami repository", a fact that seems to indicate that the first shrines were huts built to house some yorishiro. Setsumatsusha
Nakazonae is a Japanese classification of several intercolumnar struts of different origin installed in the intervals between bracket complexes at wooden architectures in East Asia. In origin they were necessary to help support the roof, they remained in use, albeit in a purely decorative role, are typical of the Wayō style. The Zenshūyō style used by Zen temples has instead bracket complexes between posts; the simplest of these struts are the kentozuka composed of a bearing block. Similar to the kentozuka is the fan-shaped strut called minozuka, which can have decorations on the two sides called 笈形 or a collar-like decoration between post and bearing block; the name comes from similar to that of a traditional straw raincoat called mino. A variant of the hijiki or timu is the hana-hijiki, composed by either one or two horizontal series bearing blocks standing over an elaborately carved floral pattern; the 人-shaped dougong warizuka strut consists of a wooden inverted V topped by a bearing block.
The kaerumata or tuofeng was named after its shape. Its origins are not known with certainty. Invented during the 12th century, it became more and more elaborate, to the point where in the Edo period the strut itself would be hidden behind the decorations. Two basic types exist. In the case of the sukashi-kaerumata, the space above and between the frog legs is either empty or carved. In the case of the ita-kaerumata, the space between the legs has disappeared, leaving behind a solid board with an external frog-leg profile
Shinto architecture is the architecture of Japanese Shinto shrines. With a few exceptions, the general blueprint of a Shinto shrine is Buddhist in origin. Before Buddhism, shrines were just temporary. Buddhism brought to Japan the idea of permanent shrines and much of Shinto architecture's vocabulary; the presence of verandas, stone lanterns, elaborate gates are examples of this influence. The composition of a Shinto shrine is variable, none of its possible features are present; the honden or sanctuary, the part which houses the kami and, the centerpiece of a shrine, can be missing. However, since its grounds are sacred, they are surrounded by a fence made of stone or wood called tamagaki, while access is made possible by an approach called sandō; the entrances themselves are straddled by gates called torii, which are therefore the simplest way to identify a Shinto shrine. A shrine may include within its grounds each destined to a different purpose. Among them are the honden or sanctuary, where the kami are enshrined, the heiden, or hall of offerings, where offers and prayers are presented, the haiden or hall of worship, where there may be seats for worshipers.
The honden is the building that contains the shintai "the sacred body of the kami". Of these, only the haiden is open to the laity; the honden is located behind the haiden and is much smaller and unadorned. Other notable shrine features are the temizuya, the fountain where visitors cleanse their hands and mouth and the shamusho, the office that supervises the shrine. Shrines can be large, as for example Ise Shrine, or as small as a beehive, as in the case of the hokora, small shrines found on road sides. Before the forced separation of Shinto and Buddhism, it was not uncommon for a Buddhist temple to be built inside or next to a shrine or to the contrary for a shrine to include Buddhist subtemples. If a shrine was a Buddhist temple, it was called a jingu-ji. At the same time, temples in the entire country adopted tutelary kami (chinju and built temple shrines called chinjusha to house them. After the forcible separation of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines ordered by the new government in the Meiji period, the connection between the two religions was severed, but continued nonetheless in practice.
The practice of marking sacred areas began in Japan as early as the Yayoi period originating from primal Shinto tenets. Features in the landscape such as rocks, waterfalls and mountains, were places believed to be capable of attracting kami, subsequently were worshiped as yorishiro. Sacred places may have been marked with a surrounding fence and an entrance gate or torii. Temporary buildings similar to present day portable shrines were constructed to welcome the gods to the sacred place. Over time the temporary structures evolved into permanent structures that were dedicated to the gods. Ancient shrines were constructed according to the style of storehouses; the buildings had gabled roofs, raised floors, plank walls, were thatched with reed or covered with hinoki cypress bark. Such early shrines did not include a space for worship. Three important forms of ancient shrine architectural styles exist: taisha-zukuri, shinmei-zukuri and sumiyoshi-zukuri They are exemplified by Izumo Taisha, Nishina Shinmei Shrine and Sumiyoshi Taisha and date to before 552.
According to the tradition of Shikinen sengū-sai, the buildings or shrines were faithfully rebuilt at regular intervals adhering to the original design. In this manner, ancient styles have been replicated through the centuries to the present day; the following is a diagram illustrating the most important elements of a Shinto shrine. Torii – Shinto gate Stone stairs Sandō – the approach to the shrine Chōzuya or temizuya – fountain to cleanse one's hands and face Tōrō – decorative stone lanterns Kagura-den – building dedicated to Noh or the sacred kagura dance Shamusho – the shrine's administrative office Ema – wooden plaques bearing prayers or wishes Sessha/massha – small auxiliary shrines Komainu – the so-called "lion dogs", guardians of the shrine Haiden – oratory Tamagaki – fence surrounding the honden Honden – main hall, enshrining the kami. On the roof of the haiden and honden are visible chigi and katsuogi, both common shrine ornamentations; the torii is a gate which marks the entrance to a sacred area but not a shrine.
A shrine may have any number of torii made of wood, metal, concrete or any other material. They can be found in different places within a shrine's precincts to signify an increased level of holiness. Torii can be found at Buddhist temples, however they are an accepted symbol of Shinto, as such are used to mark shrines on maps; the origin of the torii is unclear, no existing theory has been accepted as valid. They may for example have originated in India as a derivative of the torana gates in the monastery of Sanchi, located in central India; the sandō is the road approaching either 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. There can be stone lanterns and other decorations at any point along its course. There can be more than one sandō, in which case the main one is called omote-sandō, or front sandō, ura-sandō, or rear sandō, etc. B
Katsuogi or Kasoegi are short, decorative logs found on Japanese and Shinto architecture. They are placed at a right angle along the ridge of roofs, are featured in religious or imperial architecture. Katsuogi predate Buddhist is an architectural element endemic to Japan, they are placed on the roof with chigi, a forked ornamentation used on Shinto shrines. Today and chigi are used on Shinto buildings and can be used to distinguish them from other religious structures, such as Buddhist temples in Japan; the original purpose of the katsuogi is uncertain. A theory is that the wooden logs were used to weigh down the thatch roofing seen in early Japanese structures; as construction techniques improved, the need for weights disappeared, the logs remained only for ornamental value. Their existence during the Jōmon period is in any case well documented by numerous artifacts. Like the chigi, the katsuogi was reserved only for the powerful nobility, it was first described in the Kojiki, a 7th-century Japanese text, where it seemed to be something accessible only to the emperor.
In the excerpt, Emperor Yūryaku sees an official's house laden with katsuogi on the roof. Angered by this, he pronounces the official a knave and a scoundrel for building a house in imitation of the imperial palace. In history, emperors granted families such as the Nakatomi clan and the Mononobe clan permission to use katsuogi on their houses; as these clans were fervent supporters and administrators of Shinto, the katsuogi would come to decorate Shinto shrines. By the 6th century, katsuogi were beginning to be used on the homes of powerful families, along with chigi. After the Meiji restoration their use in new shrines was limited to the honden; the katsuogi is a short, rounded log. Most are round, although square or diamond shapes have been used; some are carved with tapered ends. More ornate katsuogi will be covered in gold or bronze, decorated with the clan symbol or motif; the number of katsuogi used on any given roof varies, but in general there is always at least one on each end. Earlier buildings tend to employ more katsuogi.
Katsuogi are always used in buildings constructed in the shinmei-zukuri, kasuga-zukuri, sumiyoshi-zukuri, taisha-zukuri styles. They are always paired with the chigi. Chigi Shinto architecture Shinto shrine The Glossary of Shinto for terms concerning Shinto and Shinto architecture