buke-zukuri 武家造
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
A style of residential architecture in use among the bushi 武士 or warrior class. As defined by the early 20c Japanese architectural historian Itou Chuuta 伊東忠太 (1867-1954), buke-zukuri originated among the eastern warriors and came to maturity in Kamakura, the headquarters of the military government, bakufu 幕府, founded by Minamoto no Yoritomo 源頼朝 (1147-99) in the late 12c. It was purportedly surrounded by a peripheral defensive enclosure with gates. Inside the enclosure there was a guard house, touzamurai 遠侍, and the main building, which originally had a shingled roof and was entered via an entrance porch, kurumayose 車寄 (see *genkan 玄関). The plan of the main structure was of the 4-room type, ta-no-jigata 田の字型, which was then believed to have originated in farmhouses nouka 農家. The term buke-zukuri was used in contrast with the shinden style *shinden-zukuri 寝殿造, which was used by the Heian aristocracy. Some controversy surrounds the use of this term, since the characteristics ascribed to buke-zukuri could also be found in a variety of other house types of the medieval period. The adoption of the term buke-zukuri owes much to the categorization of pre-modern Japanese society into distinct classes and to the idea that each class has a unique residential style. The terms bushi juutaku 武士住宅 or buke yashiki 武家屋敷 are also used to refer to the houses of the warrior class, but these terms do not imply the existence of a distinctive style.


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