hattou 法堂
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
A lecture hall which corresponds to the *koudou 講堂 in temples of Buddhist sects other than those at Zen temples. Unlike the koudou, there are usually no Buddhist statues placed in the hattou. Therefore, instead of the priest preaching while standing in front of Buddhist images, he is seated on top of the altar *shumidan 須弥壇, on a special chair called a houza 法座. In other sects Buddhist statues are normally placed on the altars. Hattou are large structures that look like two-storied buildings because of the *mokoshi 裳階, which add an extra aisle covered by a pent roof. This giver the impression of a second story although these are really single-storied buildings. Although two-storied hattou are known to have existed at both Kenchouji 建長寺 in Kanagawa prefecture and Toufukuji 東福寺 in Kyoto, during the medieval period, these are no longer extant. Hattou are almost as big as *butsuden 仏殿 and in some cases even bigger. For example, the Hattou (1657) at Myoushinji 妙心寺, in Kyoto is 7×6 bays (25.42×20.18m) including the one bay deep enclosure, mokoshi, surrounding the building. The hattou has a hard-packed earthen floor *doma 土間. The largest extant hattou is the one at Shoukokuji 相国寺 in Kyoto. It has the same number of bays including the mokoshi as that at Myoushinji, but it is a larger structure, being 28.12m×22.20m. Both buildings have structural characteristics typical of the Zen style zenshuuyou 禅宗様. The Hattou at Manpukuji 萬福寺 (1662), in Kyoto, is 5 x 6 bays (22.21m x 20.06m) and is an example of the type found at the Oubaku 黄蘗 Zen sect; see *oubaku kenchiku 黄蘗建築. The roof is hip-and-gable *irimoya-zukuri 入母屋造, and is covered with pantile *sangawarabuki 桟瓦葺. It has no bracket complexes *tokyou 斗きょう, but has bracket-shaped moldings, mochiokuri kurigata 持送繰形, single eaves *hitonoki 一軒, widely spaced rafters *mabaradaruki 疎垂木, Zen style gable ends with rainbow beams and bottle struts; see *kouryou taiheizuka 虹梁大瓶束. Unique to the Oubaku Zen style is the one-bay deep, open colonnade across the front of the building, and the fret-patterned balustrade at the edge of the stone podium on each side of the steps.

Myoushinji Hattou 妙心寺法堂 (Kyoto)


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