Konpon chuudou 根本中堂
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
Lit. original central hall. The main hall, Kondou 金堂 of Enryakuji 延暦寺 (1640), Shiga prefecture. A large single storied structure 11×6 bays (37.60m × 23.92m) with a hip-and-gable roof *irimoya-zukuri 入母屋造 , and a strict division between the worship area *raidou 礼堂 and the sanctuary *naijin 内陣, behind it. The 3-stepped bracket complexes *mitesaki tokyou 三手先斗きょう, frog-leg struts *kaerumata 蟇股, centered between the bracket complexes, double eaves *futanoki 二軒, and closely spaced rafters *shigedaruki 繁垂木, all reflect the wayou style *wayou 和様, although the gable pediments have double rainbow beams, nijuu kouryou 二重虹梁, separated by bottle struts *taiheizuka 大瓶束, instead of frog-leg struts, which is a deviation from the wayou style. The roofing is copper sheeting set over wooden planks with semi-circular battens, kawarabou 瓦棒, covering the seams, producing a simulated tile roof *hongawarabuki 本瓦葺. The worship area, 11×4 bay deep, has a floor paved with stones set diagonally. Between the sanctuary and the worship area, all eleven bays have hinged double doors opening toward the worship area. The center bay is wider than the others and is directly opposite the altar *shumidan 須弥壇, behind the rear line of core *moya 母屋 pillars. Two more altars, both facing the outer line of moya pillars, are at the extreme right and extreme left. Each bay is enclosed by doors that are divided horizontally into two latticed and boarded panels *shitomido 蔀戸. Gently inclined steps, 3-bays wide, form the approach to the front entrance. Shallow railed verandas border the worship area with narrow steps on each side, front and rear. There is no veranda surrounding the sanctuary. This hall is located at the center of the Enryakuji compound and is said to have been built within the area of the lost east pagoda. The temple was established by Saichou 最澄 (767-822) who re-introduced the Tendai 天台 sect of Buddhism into Japan. The temple was first called Hieizanji 比叡山寺 and later changed to Ichijoushikan-in 一乗師潅院 and finally to its present name. Saichou himself was given several titles, one of which was Konpon Daishi 根本大師, from which the hall derives the name konpon.


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