A tahōtō is a form of Japanese pagoda found at Esoteric Shingon and Tendai school Buddhist temples. It is unique among pagodas because it has an number of stories, its name alludes to Tahō Nyorai, who appears seated in a many-jewelled pagoda in the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra. With square lower and cylindrical upper parts, a mokoshi'skirt roof', a pyramidal roof, a finial, the tahōtō or the larger daitō was one of the seven halls of a Shingon temple. After the Heian period the construction of pagodas in general declined, new tahōtō became rare. Six examples, of which that at Ishiyama-dera is the earliest, have been designated National Treasures. There are no examples in China, whether architectural or pictoral, of anything that resembles the tahōtō, although there is a Song dynasty textual reference to a'tahōtō with an encircling chamber'; the hōtō or treasure pagoda is the ancestor of the tahōtō and dates to the introduction to Japan of Shingon and Tendai Buddhism in the ninth century.
No wooden hōtō has survived, albeit modern copies do exist, stone, bronze, or iron specimen are always miniatures comprising a foundation stone, barrel-shaped body, pyramid roof, a finial. While the tahōtō is 3x3 ken, a larger 5x5 ken version exists, known as daitō or'large pagoda'; this is the only type of tahōtō to retain the original structure with a row of pillars or a wall separating the corridor from the core of the structure, abolished in smaller pagodas. Daitō used to be common but, of all those built, only a few are still extant. One is at Wakayama prefecture's Negoro-ji, another at Kongōbu-ji, again in Wakayama, another at Kirihata-dera, Tokushima prefecture, another at Narita-san in Chiba. Kūkai himself, founder of the Shingon school, built the celebrated daitō for Kongōbu-ji on Kōyasan; the specimen found at Negoro-ji is 30.85 meters tall and a National Treasure. Japanese pagodas have an odd number of stories. While the tahōto may appear to be twin-storied, complete with balustrade, the upper part is inaccessible with no usable space.
The lower roof, known as a mokoshi, provides the appearance of an additional storey. Raised over the kamebara or'tortoise mound', the ground floor has a square plan, 3x3 ken across, with a circular core. Inside, a room is marked out by the shitenbashira or'four pillars of heaven', a reference to the Four Heavenly Kings; the main objects of worship are enshrined within. Above is a second'tortoise mound', in a residual reference to the stupa. Since exposed plaster weathers a natural solution was to provide it with a roof, the mokoshi. Above again is a short, cylindrical section and a pyramidal roof, supported on four-stepped brackets. Like all Japanese pagodas, the tahōtō is topped by a vertical shaft known as the sōrin; this comprises the base or'dew basin'. The finial's division in sections has a symbolic meaning and its structure as a whole itself represents a pagoda. A number of smaller versions of the tahōtō are known, of stone, iron, or wood, similar to the hōtō. A number of mandala show the Iron Stupa in southern India, where the patriarch Nāgārjuna received the Esoteric scriptures, as a single-storey pagoda with a cylindrical body, a pyramidal roof, a spire.
The forms used in the tahōtō, namely the square, triangle, semi-circle, circle, may represent the Five Elements or the Five Virtues. The egg-shaped stupa mound or aṇḍa may represent Mount Sumeru, with the finial as the axis of the world; the tahōtō served not as a reliquary tower but as an icon hall. Tō List of National Treasures of Japan Pagoda Stupa
Shinden-zukuri refers to the style of domestic architecture developed for palatial or aristocratic mansions built in Heian-kyō in the Heian period in 10th century Japan. Shinden-zukuri developed into sukiya-zukuri. During the Kamakura period, it developed into buke-zukuri; the main characteristics of the shinden-zukuri are a special symmetry of the group of buildings and undeveloped space between them. A mansion was set on a one chō square; the main building, the shinden, is on the central north-south axis and faces south on an open courtyard. Two subsidiary buildings, the tai-no-ya, are built to the right and left of the shinden, both running east-west; the tai-no-ya and the shinden are connected by two corridors called sukiwatadono and watadono. A chūmon-rō at the half-way points of the two corridors lead to a south courtyard, where many ceremonies were celebrated. From the watadono, narrow corridors extend south and end in tsuridono, small pavilions that travel in a U-shape around the courtyard.
Wealthier aristocrats built more buildings behind the tai-no-ya. The room at the core of the shinden is surrounded by a one ken wide roofed aisle called hisashi; the moya is one big space partitioned by portable screens. Guests and residents of the house are seated on mats. Since the shinden-zukuri-style house flourished during the Heian period, houses tended to be furnished and adorned with characteristic art of the era. In front of the moya across the courtyard is a garden with a pond. Water runs from a stream into a large pond to the south of the courtyard; the pond had islets and bridges combined with mountain shapes and rocks aimed at creating the feeling of being in the land of the Amida Buddha. Officers and guards lived by the east gates; the buke-zukuri was the style of houses built for military families. It was similar in structure to the regular shinden-zukuri with a few room changes to accommodate the differences between the aristocratic family and the military family. During the time when military families rose in power over the aristocrats, living quarters changed.
Each lord had to build extra space in order to keep his soldiers around him at all times with their weapons within reach on the grounds in case of a sudden attack. To help guard against these attacks, a yagura or tower was built and torches were scattered around the gardens so they could be lit as as possible. With the increase of people living under the same roof, extra rooms called hiro-bisashi were built grouped around the shinden; the zensho was built bigger in order to accommodate the required people needed to cook all the food for the soldiers and members of the household. Unlike the shinden-zukuri, buke-zukuri homes were simple and practical, keeping away from the submersion into art and beauty that led to the downfall of the Heian court. Rooms characteristic of a buke-zukuri home are as follows: Dei Saikusho Tsubone Kuruma-yadori Jibutsu-dō Gakumon-jō Daidokoro Takibi-no-ma Baba-den Umaya The buke-zukuri style changed throughout the Kamakura and Muromachi periods, over times the rooms in a buke-zukuri style house decreased as daimyōs started to use castles.
See Shoin-zukuri. There are no remaining original examples of Shinden-zukuri-style homes, however some current structures follow the same styles and designs: Heian Palace Byōdō-in's Phoenix Hall Hōjō-ji "The Rise and Decline of Bukezukuri" P. D. Perkins, Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 2, No. 2. Pp. 596–608. "The Phoenix Hall at Uji and the Symmetries of Replication Mimi Hall" Yiengpruksawan, The Art Bulletin, Vol. 77, No. 4. Pp. 647–672. "Shinden-zukuri no kokyu" Dr. Shoin Maeda, Nippon Kenchiku Zasshi Very extensive article with pictures AISF | Shindenzukuri
Japanese castles were fortresses constructed of wood and stone. They evolved from the wooden stockades of earlier centuries, came into their best-known form in the 16th century. Castles in Japan were built to guard important or strategic sites, such as ports, river crossings, or crossroads, always incorporated the landscape into their defenses. Though they were built to last and used more stone in their construction than most Japanese buildings, castles were still constructed of wood, many were destroyed over the years; this was true during the Sengoku period, when many of these castles were first built. However, many were rebuilt, either in the Sengoku period, in the Edo period that followed, or more as national heritage sites or museums. Today there are more than one hundred castles extant, or extant, in Japan; some castles, such as the ones at Matsue and Kōchi, both built in 1611, remain extant in their original forms, not having suffered any damage from sieges or other threats. Hiroshima Castle, on the opposite end of the spectrum, was destroyed in the atomic bombing, was rebuilt in 1958 as a museum.
The character for castle,'城', by itself read as shiro, is read as jō when attached to a word, such as in the name of a particular castle. Thus, for example, Osaka Castle is called Ōsaka-jō in Japanese. Conceived as fortresses for military defense, Japanese castles were placed in strategic locations, along trade routes and rivers. Though castles continued to be built with these considerations, for centuries, fortresses were built as centres of governance. By the Sengoku period, they had come to serve as the homes of daimyōs, to impress and to intimidate rivals not only with their defences but with their sizes and elegant interiors. In 1576, Oda Nobunaga was among the first to build one of these palace-like castles: Azuchi Castle was Japan's first castle to have a tower keep, it inspired both Toyotomi Hideyoshi's Osaka Castle and Tokugawa Ieyasu's Edo Castle. Azuchi served as the governing center of Oda's territories, as his lavish home, but it was very keenly and strategically placed. A short distance away from the capital of Kyoto, which had long been a target of violence, Azuchi's chosen location allowed it a great degree of control over the transportation and communication routes of Oda's enemies.
Before the Sengoku period, most castles were called yamajirō. Though most castles were built atop mountains or hills, these were built from the mountains. Trees and other foliage were cleared, the stone and dirt of the mountain itself was carved into rough fortifications. Ditches were dug, to present obstacles to attackers, as well as to allow boulders to be rolled down at attackers. Moats were created by diverting mountain streams. Buildings were made of wattle and daub, using thatched roofs, or wooden shingles. Small ports in the walls or planks could be used to deploy bows or fire guns from; the main weakness of this style was its general instability. Thatch caught fire more than wood, weather and soil erosion prevented structures from being large or heavy. Stone bases began to be used, encasing the hilltop in a layer of fine pebbles, a layer of larger rocks over that, with no mortar; this support allowed larger and more permanent buildings. The first fortifications in Japan were hardly what one associates with the term "castles".
Made of earthworks, or rammed earth, wood, the earliest fortifications made far greater use of natural defences and topography than anything man-made. These kōgoishi and chashi were never intended to be long-term defensive positions, let alone residences; the Yamato people began to build cities in earnest in the 7th century, complete with expansive palace complexes, surrounded on four sides with walls and impressive gates. Earthworks and wooden fortresses were built throughout the countryside to defend the territory from the native Emishi and other groups; these were built as extensions of natural features, consisted of little more than earthworks and wooden barricades. The Nara period fortress at Dazaifu, from which all of Kyūshū would be governed and defended for centuries afterwards, was constructed in this manner, remnants can still be seen today. A bulwark was constructed around the fortress to serve as a moat to aid in the defense of the structure; this was called a mizuki, or "water fort".
The character for castle or fortress, up until sometime in the 9th century or was read ki, as in this example, mizuki. Though basic in construction and appearance, these wooden and earthwork structures were designed to impress just as much as to function against attack. Chinese and Korean architecture influenced the design of Japanese buildings, including fortifications, in this period; the remains or ruins of some of these fortresses, decidedly different from what would come can still be seen in certain parts of Kyūshū and Tōhoku today. The Heian period saw a shift from the need to defend the entire state from
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
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
Minka are vernacular houses constructed in any one of several traditional Japanese building styles. In the context of the four divisions of society, minka were the dwellings of farmers and merchants; this connotation no longer exists in the modern Japanese language, any traditional Japanese-style residence of an appropriate age could be referred to as minka. Minka are characterised by their roof structure and their roof shape. Minka developed through history with distinctive styles emerging in the Edo period; the term minka means "houses of the people". It covers houses that accommodated a wide variety of people from farmers to village headmen and low level samurai. Minka come in a wide range of styles and sizes as a result of differing geographic and climatic conditions as well as the lifestyle of the inhabitants, they fall into one of four classifications: farmhouses nōka town houses machiya, fishermen's dwellings gyoka and mountain dwellings sanka. Unlike other forms of Japanese architecture, it is the structure rather than the plan, of primary importance to the minka.
Minka are divided up with primary posts that form the basic framework and bear the structural load of the building. Despite the wide variety of minka, there are eight basic forms. The'inverted U' consists of two vertical posts fixed at the top with a horizontal beam; the beam can be fixed to the top of the post either by resting upon it or via a mortise and tenon joint. This latter method is found in minka on the island of Shikoku. The'ladder' has post and beam units connected with larger beams including beams that are closer to the foundation level; this form of structure originated in townhouses of the Edo period. The system allows the irregular placement of posts and, allows flexibility in the plan. With the'umbrella' style, four beams radiate out from a central post; these posts sit at the centre of the square rather than the corners. Minka of this type are found in Shiga Prefecture. The'cross' has two beams at right angles to one another with the posts in the centre of the sides, it is used for small minka that have no other posts erected in the space or for large minka in the earth-floored area.
The style is most found in Shiga and Fukui prefectures.'Parallel crosses' are found in Shizuoka Prefecture and cover an area 5 metres by 10 metres. This system doubles up the ` cross' structure with eight posts; the ` box' structure connects four or more beam units to create a box-like structure. It can be found in Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures. The'interconnected box' can be found in Kyoto and Osaka.'Rising beams' is a form that enables better use of the second storey. It uses beams that rise from the posts to a secondary ridge, below the one formed by the rafters. Thatched roof farmhouses based upon the'rising beam' structure can be further classified into four major types; the yojiro-gumi and the wagoya are rare. The latter of these, the wagoya, is popular for machiya houses. Far more common are the odachi types; the odachi style has rafters and short vertical posts to support the ridge. These posts would have extended to the ground resulting in a row of posts extending down the centre of the house and dividing it.
Although these could be accommodated in the layout of the main house, they were impractical in the earth-floored entrance area—so they were omitted and a special beam structure used instead. This style was in wide use until the Edo period; the sasu style is a simpler triangular shape with a pair of rafters joined at the top to support the ridge pole. The ends of these rafters were sharpened to fit into mortice holes at either end of crossbeam; as this system does not rely on central posts it leaves a more unobstructed plan than the odachi style. There were two main methods for setting out the floor plan of the minka; the kyoma method uses a standard size of tatami mat, whereas the inakama method is based upon column spacing. The kyoma method works well for minka without central columns as the mats and the sliding partitions can be based on a standard size, it was used in minka in eastern Japan. The method has its disadvantages if used with posts because variations in post width can make the prefabrication of the sliding partitions difficult.
The inakama method is based upon the distance between centre of one post and centre of the post adjacent to it and it was used on the eastern side of Japan. The size and decoration of a minka was dependent upon its location and social status of its owner. Minka were influenced by local building techniques and were built with materials that were abundant in the immediate locality. For example, minka in Shizuoka used abundant bamboo for roofs, eaves and floors; when miscanthus reeds were difficult to obtain for thatched roofs, shingles were used instead. Climate had a bearing on construction: In Kyoto in the late Heian and Muromachi periods, roofs were clad in thin wooden shingles so owners would put stones on top to prevent the shingles from flying away in the wind; the social status of the minka owner was indicated by the complexity of the building. For thatched roof minka the nu
Machiya are traditional wooden townhouses found throughout Japan and typified in the historical capital of Kyoto. Machiya and nōka constitute the two categories of Japanese vernacular architecture known as minka. Machiya originated as early as the Heian period and continued to develop through to the Edo period and into the Meiji period. Machiya housed urban merchants and craftsmen, a class collectively referred to as chōnin; the word machiya is written using two kanji: machi meaning "town", ya meaning "house" or "shop" depending on the kanji used to express it. Machiya in Kyoto, sometimes called kyōmachiya defined the architectural atmosphere of downtown Kyoto for centuries, represent the standard defining form of machiya throughout the country; the typical Kyoto machiya is a long wooden home with narrow street frontage, stretching deep into the city block and containing one or more small courtyard gardens or tsuboniwa. Machiya incorporate earthen walls and baked tile roofs, could be one, one and a half, two, or even three stories high.
The front of the building traditionally served as the retail or shop space having sliding or folding shutters that opened to facilitate the display of goods and wares. Behind this mise no ma, the remainder of the main building is divided into the kyoshitsubu or "living space", composed of divided rooms with raised timber floors and tatami mats, the doma or tōriniwa, an unfloored earthen service space that contained the kitchen and serves as the passage to the rear of the plot, where storehouses known as kura are found. A hibukuro above the kitchen serves as a chimney, carrying smoke and heat away and as a skylight, bringing light into the kitchen; the plot's width was traditionally an index of wealth, typical machiya plots were only 5.4 to 6 meters wide, but about 20 meters deep, leading to the nickname unagi no nedoko, or eel beds. The largest residential room, located in the rear of the main building, looking out over the garden which separates the main house from the storehouse, is called a zashiki and doubled as a reception room for special guests or clients.
The sliding doors which make up the walls in a machiya, as in most traditional Japanese buildings, provide a great degree of versatility. However, the remainder of the building might be arranged to create smaller rooms including an entrance hall or foyer, butsuma, and naka no ma and oku no ma, both of which mean "central room". One occasion when rooms are altered is during the Gion Matsuri, when families display their family treasures, including byōbu paintings and other artworks and heirlooms in the machiya. Machiya provide space for costumes, portable shrines and other things needed for the festival, as well as hosting spectators along the festival's parade route. Machiya design addresses climate concerns. Kyoto can be quite cold in winter, hot and humid in the summer. Multiple layers of sliding doors are used to moderate the temperature inside. Machiya homes traditionally made use of different types of screens which would be changed with the seasons; the open air garden courtyards aid in air circulation and bring light into the house.
The front of a machiya features wooden lattices, or kōshi, the styles of which were once indicative of the type of shop the machiya held. Silk or thread shops, rice sellers and liquor stores, among others, each had their own distinctive style of latticework; the types or styles of latticework are still today known by names using shop types, such as Itoya-gōshi or Komeya-gōshi. These lattices sometimes jut out from the front of the building, in which case they are called degōshi. Unpainted, the kōshi of hanamachi were painted in bengara, a vermillion or red ochre color; the facade of the second story of a machiya is not made of wood, but of earthwork, with a distinctive style of window known as mushiko mado. The main entrance into a machiya consists of two doors; the Ō-do was used only to transport goods, or large objects, into the building, while the smaller kugurido, or "side door", was for normal, everyday use, i.e. for people to enter and exit. Machiya communities can be compared to the hutongs of Beijing.
Small neighborhoods made up of grouped homes organized on both sides of a narrow street, sometimes with small alleyways in between the homes, help to create a strong sense of community. In addition, many areas were traditionally defined by product; the Nishijin neighborhood, for example, is famous for its textiles. Machiya are disappearing. Machiya are difficult and expensive to maintain, are subject to greater risk of damage or destruction fr