kentozuka 間斗束
CATEGORY: architecture / general terms
 
A strut composed of a short post surmounted by a bearing block, *masu 斗. It is placed on the head-penetrating tie beam *kashiranuki 頭貫, that is inserted into and stretches between pillars *ken 間 literally means space, and here it refers to the interval between two bracket complexes. Positioned at the center of this space, it adds support to the long bracket tie beam *tooshihijiki 通肘木, carried by the bracket complexes atop the pillars. See *nakazonae 中備. If the bracket complexes are 3-stepped *mitesaki tokyou 三手先斗きょう, a second strut capped with a bearing block is set on the bracket-tie beam directly above the one on the head-penetrating tie beam to add support for the wall purlin *gawageta 側桁. Kentozuka are structurally functional struts used from the 7c through the 12c. Toward the latter part of the 13c, the strut was capped with a bearing block and began to be widened at the base to resemble the shape of a shamisen 三味線. This was called *bachizuka 撥束. By the 15c, this strut became more decorative and is now called *minozuka 蓑束. It has flaring sides and a somewhat frilly collar carved at the top. In the early Kamakura period, in the Amidadou 阿弥陀堂 at Houkaiji 法界寺 in Kyoto, plant motifs were painted on the walls on each side of kentozuka. Eventually, such decorative motifs on each side of a strut became popular and this carving was called oigata 笈形. This strut is triangular and forms a transition between the verticality of the strut and the horizontal beam on which the strut is set.  
 
Taimadera Saitou 当麻寺西塔 (Nara)
Taimadera Saitou 当麻寺西塔 (Nara)

 
REFERENCES:
*tsuka , *taiheizuka 大瓶束
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