|KEY WORD : architecture /general terms ; art history / sculptures|
|Also written 香狭間, and abbreviated to *sama 狭間. Formerly called *geshou 牙象 or genjou 眼象. A foliate panel; foiled spandrel. A decorative motif which is curved like a bowl at the base, and made up of a series of flame-like curves at the top. These curves are known as multifoil, tayoukei 多葉形 or *katou kyokusen 火灯曲線. The kouzama is used on a variety of fittings including: desks tsukue 机; the sides or middle panels of Buddhist altars *shumidan 須弥壇; dew basins *roban 露盤; the pedestals dai 台, of lanterns *tourou 灯籠; pagodas *houtou 宝塔; edged panel doors *sangarado 桟唐戸; and sometimes wall surfaces hekimen 壁面 and lion-mouth roof tiles *shishiguchi 獅子口. The pattern is often carved on the panels of a coffer or on wooden sidings, hame 羽目, divided by posts and framework. It is thought to have developed from the decorative curved legs geshou, used on a Buddhist platform, but its origins are not certain. The earliest extant examples date from the Nara period, and kouzama were used in every subsequent period until the 19c. Because the form of the curved design changed distinctly from one period to another, kouzama are used by architectural historians as a yardstick to judge the age of fittings and buildings. A type of kouzama known as koumorigata 蝙蝠形 (bat shape) appeared in the Kamakura period. Many other variations are classified according to shape, for example the floral-type *hanazama 花狭間, the 'thick' design shigezama 繁狭間, and the 'sparse' version *sudarezama 簾狭間.|
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