shariden 舎利殿
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
A square reliquary hall, used to enshrine the relics of Buddha, called *shari 舎利 (Sk: sarira). Sometimes the reliquary hall contains relics of an honored priest, and mortuary tablets. One such hall at Saihouji 西芳寺 in Kyoto, erected in the early 14c, is thought to be the oldest extant. The Shariden at Engakuji 円覚寺 is the best known. It is a square 3×3 bay structure (8.12m square) with an enclosed aisle and a pent roof *mokoshi 裳階, surrounding all four sides of the building. The center bays are wider than the others. The roof is hip-and-gable *irimoya-zukuri 入母屋造, and covered with layers of thinly cut shingles *kokerabuki 柿葺. The bracket complexes on the upper story are Zen style *zenshuuyou 禅宗様.
At Houryuuji 法隆寺 in the east precinct the Shariden is paired with the picture hall, Eden 絵殿. They are connected by a passage that is open on the front and back. The combination of the shariden and eden is only found at Houryuuji.

Engakuji Shariden 円覚寺舎利殿 (Kanagawa)

*medou 馬道

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