daimon 大門
KEY WORD : architecture / gates
Also pronounced *oomon. A generic term for a variety of styles of main gates. One type of daimon is a 4-legged gate called *shikyakumon 四脚門, found at Unjuji 雲樹寺 (14c) in Shimane prefecture. Daimon may be a single-storied gate, or a tall gate resembling a two-storied one *nijuumon 二重門. It may have three openings or only a single opening. A daimon may also be wayou style *wayou 和様; Zen style *zenshuuyou 禅宗様; daibutsu style *daibutsuyou 大仏様; or a mixture of these styles. Daimon are also named according to the directions they face. For example, simple gates that face north are called hokudaimon 北大門. Those that face east are toumon 東門, south-facing gates are nanmon 南門, and west-facing gates saimon 西門, seimon or minaimon. Around a palace or temple they are also called hokudaimon, kitamon 北門, meaning north gate. An example at Kyouougokokuji 教王護国寺 in Kyoto, is an 8-legged gate *hakkyakumon 八脚門, with 3-bays and, one entrance *sangen-ikko 三間一戸, and has a gabled roof *kirizuma yane 切妻屋根, covered with tiles *hongawarabuki 本瓦葺. The east gate Toudaimon 東大門 at Houryuuji 法隆寺 is of the same style as the Hokudaimon at Kyouougokokuji. The east gate was moved to Houryuuji in 1028. Toudaiji *Nandaimon 東大寺南大門 (1199) in Nara, is a 2-storied gate of enormous proportions, 5x2 bays, with a hip-and-gable roof, 6-stepped bracket complexes *mutesaki tokyou 六手先斗きょう, and a hip-and-gable tiled roof. The west gate at Yasaka Jinjya 八坂神社 (d.1427) in Kyoto, has 3-bays, one entrance, and a high gable roof covered with tile.


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