henkou karakusamon 扁行唐草文
KEY WORD : architecture / roofing tiles
An asymmetric arabesque pattern. Most arabesque patterns have a centrally positioned motif *chuushinkasari 中心飾 from which flow rhymical arabesques that are exactly the same but run in opposite directions *kinsei karakusamon 均正唐草文. The henkou type pattern, however, runs continuously from one end of the broad to the other. One example, on a tile unearthed at Fujiwarakyuu 藤原宮 (694-710), has a predominant curvilinear core from which, and around which spring dynamic lines ending in simple curlicues. Some scholars suggest that the curlicues, especially those passing the center of the tile, might represent a cloud motif. Some of these continuous patterns have no end borders wakitai 脇帯. Others have clearly defined end borders filled with a continuous linear zigzag motif *kyoshimon 鋸歯文 created along the lower border *shimotai 下帯. The upper border uetai 上帯 is filled with a bead pattern *shumon 珠文. Some henkou patterns resemble the so-called honeysuckle motif and are called henkou nindou karakusamon 扁行忍冬唐草文.

Yakushiji Daikoudou 薬師寺大講堂 (Nara)


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