suzumeodori 雀踊り
CATEGORY: architecture / general terms/ folk dwellings
 
Lit. sparrow dance. A widely used term for a range of elements used to decorate the ridge of the roof in vernacular houses *minka 民家, of the Edo period. It is best known as the term for a distinctive element at the end of the ridge of the tiled, *itabuki 板葺, roofs in honmune style *honmune-zukuri 本棟造 houses. A timber cut-out with a dramatic peaked shape, and long curved coping pieces spreading out in either side like a pair of wings, it effectively crowns the *tsumairi 妻入 facade. Three delicate fingers of bamboo project upwards from the central peak. In Gunma, Nara, Yamaguchi and Kouchi prefectures, suzumeodori are used for ridge decorations associated with thatched roofs. Particularly, in Yamaguchi prefecture, it refers to three short lengths of bamboo spread like an open fan astride the ridge in five places. In Kouchi prefecture, it is a white paper decoration, triangular in shape, like the paper used for kitoufuda 祈祷札, skewered on a slender bamboo stake. Several of these are fixed to the ridge of the roof temporarily immediately after re-thatching.
 

Horiuchi 堀内 house (Nagano)

 
REFERENCES:
*karasuodori 烏踊り, *karasutobi 烏鳶, *karasudomari 烏止まり, *minekazari 棟飾り
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