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irakagawara@O
KEY WORD :@architecture / roofing tiles
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Also called irakamune O; hon-irakagawara {O. The roof tiles that form the lowest part of the stack of high ridge tiles that extend far above the structural ridge beam. Irakagawara are subdivided into broad concave tiles with a pendant attached, called iraka karakusagawara O or irakahiragawara O, and semi-cylindrical convex tiles with a pendant attached, called irakatomoegawara Ob or irakamarugawara Oۊ. The inclusion of the word karakusa meaning arabesque or tomoe meaning comma motif does not necessarily mean that the pendants are decorated with these motifs. See *karakusamon ; *tomoemon b. It is believed that before the late 16c, only flat tiles *noshigawara l, were piled up on the low ridge to make an imposing impression. However, the absence of any transition between tiles stacked up on the ridge and the sloping surface of the roof gave an abrupt, stark appearance. One way to remedy this abrupt change in planes was to arrange a line of irakagawara on either side of the high ridge, achieving an aesthetic contour. At first, ordinary-size broad, concave eave-end tiles *nokihiragawara , and semi-circular eave-end tiles *nokimarugawara ۊ, were used, but they proved to be too long. Thus, the irakagawara were shortened. The use of these tiles provided the impetus for further elaboration in ridge design which reached its zenith in the Edo period.
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a) irakamarugawara@b) irakahiragawara O
Hasedera Nioumon Jm (Nara)

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