dokuritsubashira 独立柱
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
Independent post. An internal freestanding post *hashira 柱, not attached to any peripheral walls or internal partitions of a building. The term is particularly used in connection with vernacular houses *minka 民家, of the Muromachi and Edo periods. Dokuritsubashira are associated with a primitive phase in the development of minka structure, and are a conspicuous feature of the sennenya 千年家 (surviving pre-Edo period minka ) in the Kinki 近畿 region and of old farmnouses in many areas, notably Touhoku 東北. Although sometimes located beneath the ridge, near the center of the plan, dokuritsubashira are often *jouyabashira 上屋柱 - i e posts at the interface between the main frame *jouya 上屋, and the peripheral aisle *geya 下屋, when the latter is incorporated into the interior rather than forming a veranda *engawa 縁側. Particularly in the living rooms, kyoshitsubu 居室部 of minka, dokuritsubashira were found to be inconvenient (when laying *tatami 畳, for example), and the construction of the lower frame *jikubu 軸部, was adapted to permit their omission. This was commonly achieved by the use of beams *hari 梁, or deep lintels sashigamoi 差鴨居 (see *kamoi 鴨居), spanning from posts at the center of the building to the outer posts, *geyabashira 下屋柱, supporting the upper stub of the former dokuritsubashira as a strut *tsuka 束. In the earthfloored area *doma 土間, dokuritsubashira persisted for longer (in the mid-18c they were still a prominent feature of the doma of farmhouses in Touhoku) both because they were less of an encumbrance and because, since spans were often greater and partitions fewer, it was sometimes difficult to avoid the use of freestanding posts to collect the loads. Dokuritsubashira in the doma often had a totemistic character, as in Agatsuma 我妻 house, Miyagi prefecture, where the dokuritsubashira closest to the cooking range *kamado 竈 was sacred to the god of the kamado *kamadogami 竈神, whose image was affixed to the post.


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