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akazumon@•sŠJ–å
KEY WORD :@architecture / gates
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Also called akazu-no-mon •sŠJ–å or ikanmon ˆÌèg–å. Lit. closed gate. Legend has it that after Emperor Kazan ‰ÔŽR (984-986) retired, he went through this gate. Thereafter, it was not opened again.

1@A gate used only for emergencies or for extraordinary occasions. See *chokushimon ’ºŽg–å.

2@A gate that is never opened due to ominous associations or superstition. The most well-known example is the east gate, Higashimon “Œ–å of Kyouougokokuji ‹³‰¤Œì‘Ž› in Kyoto, which was built 1191. Tradition has it that Nitta Yoshisada V“c‹`’å (1301-38), a samurai Ž˜ who fought alongside and then escaped from Ashikaga Takauji ‘«—˜‘¸Ž (1305-58) in 1336, went through this gate, closing it behind him. Since then, the gate supposedly has never been opened. Thus, it is commonly called akazumon. Structurally, it is an eight-legged gate *hakkyakumon ”ª‹r–å, three-bays wide with a one-bay opening, made in *wayou ˜a—l. It is exactly the same type of gate as three other gates at Kyouougokokuji, all built at the end of the 12c. The other three gates are the lotus gate *Rengemon ˜@‰Ø–å; the congratulatory gate *Keigamon Œc‰ê–å; and the main north gate, Hokudaimon –k‘å–å. No such superstition is attached to the latter three gates. These gates are all eight-legged with three bays, one entrance, and a single storey. The roofs are gabled and covered with tile.
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