|KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures|
buildings at Buddhist temples of Shingon 真言 and Tendai 天台 sects, used especially for Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou
密教 and for the performances of the burnt-offering goma 護摩 ceremonies.
The firewood is called gomagi 護摩木. The ceremony, itself is called the external fire ceremon, gegoma 外護摩. The fire, the deity and
the worshippers whose actions of body, mouth and mind must be pure in
order to destroy evil. If the worshipper is only meditating on the ceremony
as a mental exercise, it is called an internal fire-ceremony, naigoma
内護摩, which also symbolizes the internal fire of evil passions that must
be destroyed by wisdom. The ritual is derived from the ancient Brahmanic
belief that offering fire to the gods results in great benefits for mankind.
Most gomadou are three-bay squares, measuring 46m. The interior consists
only of simple, empty space except for an altar attached to the rear wall
at the center bay, and shelves stretch from it to the corners. An exception
is found in the earliest extant Gomadou (13c) at Ishideji 石手寺,
Ehime prefecture, where it is free-standing, about 1/2-bay forward from the
rear wall. Either a statue of *Fudou
Myouou 不動明王, or one of *Aizen
Myouou 愛染明王, are placed at the back of the altar. There are a number
1 Kakurinji 鶴林寺 Gomadou (1563), Hyougo preference. The roof does not have bracket complexes. It has single eaves *hitonoki 一軒 closely spaced rafters *shigedaruki 繁垂木 a hip-and-gable roof *irimoya-zukuri 入母屋造, covered with tile *hongawarabuki 本瓦葺. The interior reveals some elements of the daibutsu style *daibutsuyou 大仏様, and has lobster beams *ebikouryou 海老虹梁.
2 Choumeiji 長命寺 Gomadou (1606), Shiga prefecture, has a single eave, widely spaced rafters *mabaradaruki 疎垂木, and pyramidal roof *hougyou-zukuri 宝形造 covered with cypress bark *hiwadabuki 桧皮葺. The interior has rainbow beams *kouryou 虹梁, and over the center bay is a coved ceiling *oriage tenjou 折上天井, and open-beam ceilings *keshou yaneura 化粧屋根裏, over all the other bays.
3 Natadera 那谷寺 Gomadou (1640), Ishikawa prefecture, has a more elaborate than usual which includes a hip-and-gable roof covered with cypress bark roofing, closely spaced rafters, a step canopy *kouhai 向拝 , the width of the center bay with five steps to the veranda, windows filled with vertical slats, and doors paneled with top sections haveing vertical slats. On the exterior there is a large amount of carved decoration.
4 The Gomadou at Sanbouin 三宝院 (Edo period), Kyoto, is larger than usual being 5 x 3 bays with a tiled, hip-and-gable roof. It is assumed that this building was constructed for another purpose originally. However, as Gomadou is encircled by plank walls to give it a closed and remote character. The inside has only the goma altar and a Buddhist statue. None of the gomadou have adequate means for dissipating smoke.
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