gatou 瓦当
CATEGORY: architecture / roofing tiles
 
1 Eave-end tiles with a circular or semi-circular ornamental pendant. Gatou were brought to Japan from China and the Korean peninsular. Han dynasty gatou were often decorated with auspicious characters. Japanese examples are decorated with the comma shape *tomoemon 巴文, arabesque *karakusamon 唐草文, or other designs. Round gatou are called *engatou 円瓦当, and semi-circular gatou are called hangatou 半瓦当. Sometimes pendant tiles are called by the name of the pattern decorating them. For example, round gatou decorated with a comma pattern *tomoegawara 巴瓦, are often referred to as eaves commas *nokidomoegawara 軒巴瓦. The pendant tiles not only apply a decorative finish to the edge of the eaves but also serve to deflect the rain as they have a slightly outward slant.

2 The term gatou is sometimes used to refer only to the decorative pendant disk of the tiles described in one above. 
 

 
REFERENCES:
, *marugawara 丸瓦, *rengemon 蓮華文, *gatou mon'you 瓦当模様
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NOTES
 

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