Saimon 西門
KEY WORD : architecture / gates
An eight-legged *hakkyakumon 八脚門, 3-bay wide, 1-entrance gate with a gable roof *kirizuma yane 切妻屋根, constructed at Kiyomizudera 清水寺 (1607) in Kyoto. A unique feature is the undulating bargeboard *karahafu 唐破風 or nokikarahafu 軒唐破風, placed along the rear eave that faces the 3-storied pagoda, Sanjuu-no-tou 三重塔. The roofing is made of cypress bark *hiwadabuki 桧皮葺. A 1-bay wide step canopy *kouhai 向拝, extends forward from the center bay which is also the passageway through the gate. Vertical lath fencing, kongousaku 金鋼柵, on the lower part and diamond lattice *hishigoushi 菱格子, fills the upper part to protect the enshrined statues of *Jikokuten 持国天 and *Bishamonten 毘沙門天 which are set on 1-step high platforms. There are no gate doors. Three-on-one bracket complexes are set at right angle to each other *demitsudo 出三斗, on top of the circular pillars. Frog-leg struts *kaerumata 蟇股, are placed on these pillars to support the purlins. Double rainbow beams and both frog-leg struts and bottle struts *taiheizuka 大瓶束, are used in the gable pediments. Double eaves *futanoki 二軒, with closely spaced rafters *shigedaruki 繁垂木, are employed. The step canopy fly rafters *hien daruki 飛檐垂木, are considerably extended to create very deep eaves. The ceiling is latticed and coffered *kogumi goutenjou 小組格天井. Traces of carvings and bright colors can be detected on the frog-leg struts and nosings *kibana 木鼻. This gate retains elements of the taste and complexity of style of the Momoyama period but more conservative style was expected in most buildings, except those constructed for the shogun.


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