kasuga-zukuri 春日造
CATEGORY: architecture / shrines
 
A style of shrine architecture employed in main sanctuaries *honden 本殿, that has the same basic form as that at Kasuga Taisha 春日大社 in Nara. The entrance is on the gable end. The building is characterized by its smallness, 1 × 1 bay. At Kasuga Taisha, the building measures 1.9 m - 2.6 m. The large, curved, gabled roof with pent roof *hisashi 廂 and step-canopy *kouhai 向拝, is covered with cypress bark roofing *hiwadabuki 桧皮葺. The rafters of the gabled roof are closely spaced *shigedaruki 繁垂木, while the rafters of the pent roof are widely spaced *mabaradaruki 疎垂木. Tiles, irakaooi 甍覆, are placed along the ridge embellished with curved forked finials *chigi 千木, which are placed front to back against the tile ridge ends. Billets *katsuogi 堅魚木, are placed on each end of the ridge behind the finials. However, two very small kasuga style shrines, Kasugadou 春日堂 and Hakusandou 白山堂 (12-13c) at Enjouji 円成寺 in Nara, have a third billet centered between the two on each end. Although the pillars of the Honden at Kasuga Taisha rest on base stones, there is an important difference in the method of support for the shrines at Enjouji, the main body of each building is raised well above ground level and is supported by footplates *dodai 土台, placed on the ground forming a grid pattern. See *misedana-zukuri 見世棚造. Circular pillars rise at each corner and non-penetrating hip tie beams *koshinageshi 腰長押, are attached to each pillar at floor level. Plank walls are whitewashed on the exterior and have a thin coat of plaster *shikkui 漆喰. All visible supportive members are painted vermilion *shu 朱. The only opening is the plank doors at the entrance. A broad pent roof extends across the front protecting the entrance. The shallow veranda is placed on the entrance side, with steep steps made of long, solid, square timbers. The corners of the veranda have railings, and handrails are placed somewhat in from the edges of the steps. The veranda and steps are unpainted. The roof over the steps is supported by square posts with chamfered corners *mentori 面取, and boat-shaped brackets *funahijiki 舟肘木. The combination of pent roof, veranda and steps is called kouhai. At Kasuga Taisha, casings *mimi-ita 耳板, on the ends of veranda and steps are painted with black lacquer and decorated with white designs of whirling commas and stylized sword points kendomoemon 剣巴文. From the front, the pent roof gives the impression that the roof is hip-and-gable *irimoya yane 入母屋屋根, but hip rafters *sumigi 隅木, are not used, a characteristic of pure kasuga style. After the end of the 12c, hip rafters were added to many honden built in the kasuga style in rural areas, and became known as hip rafter insert kasuga style, sumigi-iri kasuga-zukuri 隅木入春日造 or *ouji-zukuri 王子造. Example: Uda Mikumari Jinja Honden 宇太水分神社本殿 in Nara (hip rafter added).
 
 

 
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