Youmeimon 陽明門
KEY WORD : architecture / gates
Lit. sun bright gate.

1 One of the 12 gates located on the east side of the outer enclosure of the ancient palace, Heiankyou, 平安京, north of the Taikenmon, 待賢門 lit. waiting wisdom gate, and south of the Joutoumon 上東門, lit. upper east gate. It was also called the guard gate, Konoemon 近衛門, because there was an imperial guard station to the left and right of the gate.

2 Also called Higurashi-no-mon 日暮門, lit. sun living gate. In the Edo period, ordinary people could make a pilgrimage only as far as the Youmeimon at Nikkou Toushouguu 日光東照宮 in Tochigi prefecture. It is an 8-legged *hakkyakumon 八脚門, high gate *roumon 楼門, that is 3 x 2 bays with gate doors that are attached to the main pillars which mark the center bay. The passage and three rear bays have an earthen floor. The left and right front bays enshrine statues of guards zuijin 随身 and guard dogs *komainu 狛犬 positioned in the rear bays to the left and right. These statues are protected by vertical lattice fences called *kongousaku 金鋼柵. The roof is hip-and-gable *irimoya yane 入母屋屋根, and the roofing is made of copper doubanbuki 銅板葺, which simulates tile. On the hip-and-gable roof are four undulating gables *karahafu 唐破風. The gate is lacquered, and the pillars are coated with white paste *gofun 胡粉, covered with patterns in relief. Bracket complexes *tokyou 斗きょう are closely packed *tsumegumi 詰組, an arrangement characteristic of the Zen style *zenshuuyou 禅宗様. The entire gate is extremely ornate. The Youmeimon is located on the boundary between the outer and inner precincts of the shrine. Construction was completed in 1636.
Nikkou Toushouguu Youmeimon日光東照宮陽明門 (Tochigi)
Nikkou Toushouguu Youmeimon日光東照宮陽明門 (Tochigi)

*hashira *tokyou 斗きょう

  zuijin 随身 *kongousaku 金鋼柵


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