hiragawara 平瓦
KEY WORD : architecture / roofing tiles
Also called *megawara 女瓦 (female tile). One of the basic roofing tiles. The terms megawara and *ogawara 男瓦 (male tile) were common but to some extent, megawara has been replaced by hiragawara, and ogawara by *marugawara 丸瓦. A broad concave almost rectangular roof tile, that is arc-shaped in cross section. It is used in conjunction with semi-circular tiles marugawara. The concavity created a valley *tani 谷 which carried off the rain water. It is usually slightly more narrow at the front end atama 頭, than at the opposite end shiri 尻. Its size, thickness and degree of concavity varied, being greater in the ancient period than in later periods. Size varied, but was often 30cm long x about 27cm wide at the top, and at the bottom end about 25.5cm wide. The concavity at the center was about 3.5mm. Ancient tiles had less concavity than those made after the 12c. Dimensions of the tiles are also dependent on the size of the roof. The larger tiles were easier to lay and stabilize. If they were too small, the concavity would be too narrow. As a result rain water could easily rise to the edges and even seep under the marugawara and cause leaks. Hiragawara, in ancient times were made by cutting a cylindrical tile into quarter sections from top to bottom.

*hongawarabuki 本瓦葺, *nokihiragawara 軒平瓦, *fukiashi 葺足, *hira karakusagawara 平唐草瓦.

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