suzakumon 朱雀門
KEY WORD : architecture / gates
The front gate at the center of the south end of the outer enclosure that surrounded the palace compound at Heijoukyou 平城京, and Heiankyou 平安京. It was one of the twelve gates on the outer walls. when the site of Suzakumon at Heijoukyou was excavated, the plinth stones under base stones were found to be large. Other remains of the gate indicate that the gate was built on an enormous scale: 5 x 2 bays, with each bay 5.1m wide. The pounded groundwork, hanchiku jigyou 版築地形, was especially well prepared. It was sturdier and deeper than any other gate that has been excavated to date. The huge scale suggests that it was a 2-story, double-roof gate. The name suzakumon is found in the SHOKUNIHONGI 続日本紀, and it states that it was the access gate to the broad, central boulevard, Suzaku Ooji 朱雀大路, that lead to Heijoukyou. A similar arrangement existed at Heiankyou. It had 7 bays with 5 entrance. A 2-story gate painted red faced the broad Suzaku thoroughfare opposite the gate Rajoumon 羅城門 at the south end.

*heiankyuu平安宮, *choudouin 朝堂院

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