KEY WORD : architecture / joints
Lit. dovetail shape. Also arigata 蟻形. The generic term for any part of a joint in a dovetail shape. The earliest known examples are dovetailed splicing joints called *tsugite 継手 on backet arms *hijiki 肘木, found on the *Gojuu-no-tou 五重の塔 (952) at Daigoji 醍醐寺 in Kyoto. This dovetail is longer than later examples. On a now-destroyed structure, the *Shouryouin 聖霊院 (1121) at Houryuuji 法隆寺 in Nara, only the mortise part of a right angled dovetail joint was discovered where a ceiling batten *saobuchi 竿縁, was connected to a ceiling edge board *mawaribuchi 廻縁. Although it is known from the eizou houshiki 営造方式, of 1100 that splines *hagi 矧, were in use, a dovetail joint was found on the wooden doors *itatobira 板扉, of the Hondou 本堂 at Taisanji 太山寺 (1285) in Hyougo prefecture. Early dovetail joints appear to have had little counteracting pull between the tenon and mortise, but in the 14c the dovetail joint became stronger when it was made longer and narrower and combined with other joints. Dovetail joints were used end to end to connect long members such as eave supports *kayaoi 茅負. They were also used where two members were mitered at right angles as, for example, the non-penetrating tie beams *nageshi 長押, at a corner pillar of Hondou at Denkouji 伝香寺 (1585) in Nara. Dovetail joints can be rounded off maruari 丸蟻, or made into half dovetail joints, kataari 片蟻, stepped or lapped dovetail joints koshikakeari 腰掛蟻, and blind dovetail joints tsutsumiari 包蟻, etc. Dovetail joints are used mainly on the beams in the roof truss *koyabari 小屋梁, for joining purlines *keta 桁, to other members, or for ground sills *dodai 土台, or sleepers *oobiki 大引. Dovetail joints are not always the typical splayed type but also can be square or rectangular joints shihouari 四方蟻, and sometimes may have slightly beveled edges on the end cuts.

*aridome 蟻留, *arihozo 蟻ほぞ, *arikake 蟻掛, *arikubi 蟻首, *aritsugi 蟻継

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