Komainu called lion-dogs in English, are statue pairs of lion-like creatures either guarding the entrance or the honden, or inner shrine of many Japanese Shinto shrines or kept inside the inner shrine itself, where they are not visible to the public. The first type, born during the Edo period, is called sandō komainu, the second and much older type jinnai komainu, they can sometimes be found at Buddhist temples, nobility residences or private homes. Meant to ward off evil spirits, modern komainu statues are identical, but one has the mouth open, the other closed; the two forms are referred to collectively as a-un. This is a common characteristic in religious statue pairs at both temples and shrines; the pattern is Buddhist in origin and has a symbolic meaning: The open mouth is pronouncing the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, pronounced "a", while the closed one is uttering the last letter, pronounced "um", to represent the beginning and the end of all things. Together they form the sound Aum, a syllable sacred in several religions like Hinduism and Jainism.
Komainu resemble Chinese guardian lions and in fact originate from Tang dynasty China. The Chinese guardian lions are believed to have been influenced by lion pelts and lion depictions introduced through trade from either the Middle East or India, countries where the lion existed and was a symbol of strength. During its transportation along the Silkroad, the symbol changed, acquiring a distinctive look; the first lion statue in India appears around the 3rd century BC on top of a column erected by King Ashoka. The tradition arrived in China where it developed into the guardian lion, exported to Korea and Okinawa. During the Nara period, as in the rest of Asia, the pair always consisted of two lions. Used only indoors until the 14th century, they were made of wood. During the Heian period, for example, wooden or metal pairs were employed as weights and door-stops, while at the Imperial Palace they were used to support screens or folding screens. During the early Heian period, the tradition changed and the two statues started to be different and be called differently.
One was called shishi because, as before, it resembled that animal. The other had its mouth closed, looked rather like a dog, was called komainu, or "Goguryeo dog", sometimes had a single horn on its head; the animals returned to be identical, but for their mouths, ended up being called both komainu. Ubiquitous as they are now at shrines, Komainu have been used outdoors only since the 14th century. In Asia, the lion was popularly believed to have the power to repel evil, for this reason it was habitually used to guard gates and doors. In Japan, too it ended up being installed at the entrance of shrines and temples next to the lion-dog; as a protection against exposure to Japan's rainy weather, the komainu started being carved in stone. The shīsā, the stone animals that in Okinawa guard the gates or the roofs of houses, are close relatives of the shishi and the komainu, objects whose origin and symbolic meaning they share, their name itself is centuries old regional variant of shishi-san. Starting from the Edo period other animals have been used instead of lions or dogs, among others wild boars, tigers and foxes.
The most frequent variant of the komainu theme is the fox, guardian of shrines dedicated to kami Inari. There are about 30 thousand Inari shrines in Japan, the entrance of each is guarded by a pair of fox statues. One, sometimes both, has a sūtra roll, a key or a jewel in its mouth; the statues do not symbolize the animals' proverbial malice, but the magic powers they are believed to possess. Sometimes the guardians are painted, in that case they are always white. White foxes are messengers of the kami, sometimes himself believed to be, portrayed as, a fox. Although visible genitals are rare, the left fox is believed to be the right one female; the foxes wear red votive bibs similar to those worn by statues of other deities, for example Buddhist god Jizō, from which one expects some kind of favor in return. In this case however the bibs seem to be purely a rite. Chinese guardian lions Kitsune Chinthe Xiezhi Nio Media related to Inari fox statues at Wikimedia Commons "JAANUS". On-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology.
"Lion-dogs". Kyoto National Museum Dictionary. Retrieved 16 July 2010. Mihashi, Ken. "Komainu". Shogakukan Encyclopedia online. Yahoo. Retrieved 16 July 2010. Kanechiku, Nobuyuki. "Shishi". Shogakukan Encyclopedia online. Retrieved 16 July 2010. Kotera, Yoshiaki. "Komainu". Japanese Religions. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2010. Nakayama, Kaoru. "Komainu". Encyclopedia of Shinto. Kokugakuin University. Retrieved 27 December 2010. Scheid, Bernhard. "Inari Fuchswächter". University of Vienna. Retrieved 30 July 2010. "Shisa Travelogue". Okinawa Prefectural Government. Retrieved 18 July 2010. Smyers, Karen Ann; the Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2102-5. OCLC 231775156
Mon is a generic Japanese term for gate used, either alone or as a suffix, in referring to the many gates used by Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines and traditional-style buildings and castles. Unlike gates of secular buildings, most temple and shrine gates are purely symbolic elements of liminality, as they cannot be closed and just mark the transition between the mundane and the sacred. In many cases, for example that of the sanmon, a temple gate has cleansing properties. Gate size is measured in ken, where a ken is the interval between two pillars of a traditional-style building. A temple's rōmon for example can have dimensions from a maximum of 5x2 ken to a more common 3x2 ken, down to one ken; the word is translated in English as "bay" and is better understood as an indication of proportions than as a unit of measurement. Like the temples they belong to, gates can be in the wayō, daibutsuyō, zen ` setchūyō style, they can be named after: Their location, of the omotemon or the karametemon. The deity they house, as the Niōmon, a gate enshrining two gods called Niō in its outer bays.
Their structure or shape, as the nijūmon and the rōmon. Their function, as the sanmon, the most important gate of a Zen or Jōdo temple. Not all such terms are mutually exclusive and the same gate may be called with different names according to the situation. For example, a Niōmon can be called a nijūmon if it has two stories. Different structurally from the others is the toriimon, a two-legged gate in stone or wood associated with Shinto, but common within Japanese Buddhist temples; as prominent a temple as Osaka's Shitennō-ji, founded in 593 by Shōtoku Taishi and the oldest state-built Buddhist temple in the country, has a torii straddling one of its entrances. The origins of the torii are unknown; because the use of symbolic gates is widespread in Asia—such structures can be found for example in India, Thailand and within Nicobarese and Shompen villages—historians believe it may be an imported tradition. It most symbolically marks the entrance of a Shinto shrine. For this reason, it is never closed.
Hakkyakumon or Yatsuashimon – so called because of its eight secondary pillars, which support four main pillars standing under the gate's ridge. It therefore has twelve pillars altogether. Heijūmon – A gate in a wall consisting in just two square posts. Kabukimon – A gate in a wall formed by two square posts and a horizontal beam. Karamon – A gate characterized by a karahafu, an undulating bargeboard peculiar to Japan. Karamon are used at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. Kōraimon – Used at castles and daimyō residences, it consists of a tiled, gabled roof on two pillars, plus two smaller roofs over the secondary pillars on the rear of the gate. Masugata. A defensive structure consisting in a courtyard along the wall of a castle with two gates set at a square angle, one giving access to the castle and one facing the outside; the external gate is a kōraimon, the internal one a yaguramon. The Sakuradamon at Tokyo's Imperial Palace is such a gate. Munamon – A gate formed by two pillars sustaining a gabled roof.
Similar to a kōraimon, but lacking the roofed secondary pillars. Nagayamon lit. nagaya gate – A nagaya a long house, was a row house where low status samurai used to live, the nagayamon was a gate that allowed traffic from one side of the structure to the other. Nijūmon – A two-storied gate with a pent roof between the two stories. Distinguishable from the similar rōmon for having a pent roof between stories. Niōmon – A gate enshrining in its two outer bays the statues of two warden gods, the Niō. Rōmon – A two-storied, single roofed gate where the second story is inaccessible and offers no usable room. Distinguishable from the similar nijūmon for not having a pent roof between stories. Sanmon – The most important gate of a Japanese Zen Buddhist temple. Used by other schools the Jōdo, its importance notwithstanding, the sanmon is not the first gate of the temple, in fact it stands between the sōmon and the butsuden. Sōmon – the gate at the entrance of a temple, it precedes the bigger and more important sanmon.
Torii – This distinctive symbolic gate is associated with Shinto shrines, however it is common at Buddhist temples too, as most have at least one. Uzumimon – Gates opened in a castle wall; because they were used to connect surfaces at different levels, they looked as if they were buried in the ground. Yaguramon – A gate with a yagura on top. Yakuimon – A gate having no pillars under the ridge of its gabled gate, supported by four pillars at its corners. Yakkyakumon or Yotsuashimon – so called because of its four secondary pillars which support two main pillars standing under the gate's ridge, it therefore has six pillars. Media related to Gates in Japan at Wikimedia Commons
A deity is a supernatural being considered divine or sacred. The Oxford Dictionary of English defines deity as "a god or goddess". C. Scott Littleton defines a deity as "a being with powers greater than those of ordinary humans, but who interacts with humans, positively or negatively, in ways that carry humans to new levels of consciousness, beyond the grounded preoccupations of ordinary life". In the English language, a male deity is referred to as a god, while a female deity is referred to as a goddess. Religions can be categorized by. Monotheistic religions accept only one deity, polytheistic religions accept multiple deities. Henotheistic religions accept one supreme deity without denying other deities, considering them as aspects of the same divine principle. Although most monotheistic religions traditionally envision their God as omnipotent, omniscient and eternal, none of these qualities are essential to the definition of a "deity" and various cultures conceptualized their deities differently.
Monotheistic religions refer to God in masculine terms, while other religions refer to their deities in a variety of ways – masculine, feminine and without gender. Many ancient cultures – including the ancient Mesopotamians, Greeks and Norsemen– personified natural phenomena, variously as either deliberate causes or effects; some Avestan and Vedic deities were viewed as ethical concepts. In Indian religions, deities were envisioned as manifesting within the temple of every living being's body, as sensory organs and mind. Deities were envisioned as a form of existence after rebirth, for human beings who gain merit through an ethical life, where they become guardian deities and live blissfully in heaven, but are subject to death when their merit is lost; the English language word "deity" derives from Old French deité, the Latin deitatem or "divine nature", coined by Augustine of Hippo from deus. Deus is related through a common Proto-Indo-European origin to *deiwos; this root yields the ancient Indian word Deva meaning "to gleam, a shining one", from *div- "to shine", as well as Greek dios "divine" and Zeus.
Deva is masculine, the related feminine equivalent is devi. Etymologically, the cognates of Devi are Greek thea. In Old Persian, daiva- means "demon, evil god", while in Sanskrit it means the opposite, referring to the "heavenly, terrestrial things of high excellence, shining ones"; the linked term "god" refers to "supreme being, deity", according to Douglas Harper, is derived from Proto-Germanic *guthan, from PIE *ghut-, which means "that, invoked". Guth in the Irish language means "voice"; the term *ghut- is the source of Old Church Slavonic zovo, Sanskrit huta-, from the root *gheu-,An alternate etymology for the term "god" comes from the Proto-Germanic Gaut, which traces it to the PIE root *ghu-to-, derived from the root *gheu-. The term *gheu- is the source of the Greek khein "to pour"; the German root was a neuter noun. The gender of the monotheistic God shifted to masculine under the influence of Christianity. In contrast, all ancient Indo-European cultures and mythologies recognized both masculine and feminine deities.
There is no universally accepted consensus on what a deity is, concepts of deities vary across cultures. Huw Owen states that the term "deity or god or its equivalent in other languages" has a bewildering range of meanings and significance, it has ranged from "infinite transcendent being who created and lords over the universe", to a "finite entity or experience, with special significance or which evokes a special feeling", to "a concept in religious or philosophical context that relates to nature or magnified beings or a supra-mundane realm", to "numerous other usages". A deity is conceptualized as a supernatural or divine concept, manifesting in ideas and knowledge, in a form that combines excellence in some or all aspects, wrestling with weakness and questions in other aspects, heroic in outlook and actions, yet tied up with emotions and desires. In other cases, the deity is a principle or reality such as the idea of "soul"; the Upanishads of Hinduism, for example, characterize Atman as deva, thereby asserting that the deva and eternal supreme principle is part of every living creature, that this soul is spiritual and divine, that to realize self-knowledge is to know the supreme.
Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more deities. Polytheism is the belief in and worship of multiple deities, which are assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, with accompanying rituals. In most polytheistic religions, the different gods and goddesses are representations of forces of nature or ancestral principles, can be viewed either as autonomous or as aspects or emanations of a creator God or transcendental absolute principle, which manifests immanently in nature. Henotheism accepts the existence of more than one deity, but considers all deities as equivalent representations or aspects of the same divine principle, the highest. Monolatry is the belief that many deities exist, but that only one of these deities may be validly worshipped. Monotheism is the belief. A monotheistic deity, known as "God", is u
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
An architectural style is characterized by the features that make a building or other structure notable or identifiable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, building materials, regional character. Most architecture can be classified within a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology, or materials which make new styles possible. Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society, they are documented in the subject of architectural history. At any time several styles may be fashionable, when a style changes it does so as architects learn and adapt to new ideas; the new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as post-modernism, which has in recent years found its own language and split into a number of styles which have acquired other names. Styles spread to other places, so that the style at its source continues to develop in new ways while other countries follow with their own twist.
For instance, Renaissance ideas emerged in Italy around 1425 and spread to all of Europe over the next 200 years, with the French, German and Spanish Renaissances showing recognisably the same style, but with unique characteristics. A style may spread through colonialism, either by foreign colonies learning from their home country, or by settlers moving to a new land. One example is the Spanish missions in California, brought by Spanish priests in the late 18th century and built in a unique style. After a style has gone out of fashion, revivals and re-interpretations may occur. For instance, classicism found new life as neoclassicism; each time it is revived, it is different. The Spanish mission style was revived 100 years as the Mission Revival, that soon evolved into the Spanish Colonial Revival. Vernacular architecture is listed separately; as vernacular architecture is better understood as suggestive of culture, writ broadly, it technically can encompass every architectural style--or none at all.
In and of itself, vernacular architecture is not a style. Constructing schemes of the period styles of historic art and architecture was a major concern of 19th century scholars in the new and mostly German-speaking field of art history. Important writers on the broad theory of style including Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, Gottfried Semper, Alois Riegl in his Stilfragen of 1893, with Heinrich Wölfflin and Paul Frankl continued the debate into the 20th century. Paul Jacobsthal and Josef Strzygowski are among the art historians who followed Riegl in proposing grand schemes tracing the transmission of elements of styles across great ranges in time and space; this type of art history is known as formalism, or the study of forms or shapes in art. Semper, Wölfflin, Frankl, Ackerman, had backgrounds in the history of architecture, like many other terms for period styles, "Romanesque" and "Gothic" were coined to describe architectural styles, where major changes between styles can be clearer and more easy to define, not least because style in architecture is easier to replicate by following a set of rules than style in figurative art such as painting.
Terms originated to describe architectural periods were subsequently applied to other areas of the visual arts, more still to music and the general culture. In architecture stylistic change follows, is made possible by, the discovery of new techniques or materials, from the Gothic rib vault to modern metal and reinforced concrete construction. A major area of debate in both art history and archaeology has been the extent to which stylistic change in other fields like painting or pottery is a response to new technical possibilities, or has its own impetus to develop, or changes in response to social and economic factors affecting patronage and the conditions of the artist, as current thinking tends to emphasize, using less rigid versions of Marxist art history. Although style was well-established as a central component of art historical analysis, seeing it as the over-riding factor in art history had fallen out of fashion by World War II, as other ways of looking at art were developing, a reaction against the emphasis on style developing.
According to James Elkins "In the 20th century criticisms of style were aimed at further reducing the Hegelian elements of the concept while retaining it in a form that could be more controlled". While many architectural styles explore harmonious ideals, Mannerism wants to take style a step further and explores the aesthetics of hyperbole and exaggeration. Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial qualities. Mannerism favours compositional instability rather than balance and clarity; the definition of Mannerism, the phases within it, continues to be the subject of debate among art historians. An example of mannerist architecture is the Villa Farnese at Caprarola in the rugged country side outside of Rome; the proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist styles more than any previous styles. A center of Mannerist design was Antwerp during its 16th-century boom. Through Antwerp and Mannerist styles were introduced in England and northern and eastern Europe in general.
Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at Colditz Castle exemplifies this northern style, characteristically applie
The karamon or karakado is a type of gate seen in Japanese architecture. It is characterized by the usage of karahafu, an undulating bargeboard peculiar to Japan. Karamon are used at the entrances of Japanese castles, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, have been a symbol of authority. Although kara can be translated as meaning "China" or "Tang", this type of roof with undulating bargeboards first appeared during 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 oldest existing karahafu is found at Hōryū-ji temple. 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 karamon entrance 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. Karamon would become 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. Mukaikaramon is the most common form of karamon, features two karahafu at the front and back of the gate; this type of gate may incorporate a karahafu in the middle of the roof, or the entire gable itself may be a curved structure. Hirakaramon are distinguished with two karahafu on the left and right sides of the gate; this type of gate was used at palaces, was once called miyukimon. Karayotsuashimon is an ornate style of karamon that features four undulating gables on all sides of the gate. A good example of this type of gate can be found at Nikkō Tōshō-gū. Karahafu Japanese architecture Japanese Buddhist architecture Japanese castle Buddhist temples in Japan Shinto shrine List of National Treasures of Japan
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