koudou 講堂
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
1 Lecture hall in a Buddhist temple. In the Nara and Heian periods, it was one of the principal buildings in the monastic complex. Usually located behind the sacred precinct or behind the main hall, called *kondou 金堂 or *hondou 本堂. In mountain temples where the terrain was rugged, the koudou was often erected in front of the main hall where it became the central facility of the temple compound. Originally, it was the center for teaching the sutras, kyou 経, rituals, and required behavior for general meetings, entertainments, and for penitential ceremonies. There is some evidence that it may have served occasionally as a refectory. Thus, the koudou was a large building that before the Heian period was seven or eight bays by four bays, and even larger by the end of the 10c. For example, the *Daikoudou 大講堂( rebuilt in 990) at Houryuuji 法隆寺, was 9 x 4 bays; the Koudou (8c) at Toushoudaiji 唐招提寺, was 9 x 4 bays both in Nara; and the Koudou (1410) at Kyouougokokuji 教王護国寺 in Kyoto, was 9 x 4 bays; the Koudou (1303) at Taimadera 当麻寺 in Nara, was 7 x 4 bays. In temples of the Zen 禅 sect, introduced in the 11c-12c, the term *hattou 法堂 was used instead of koudou. It served as a lecture hall and was erected behind the *butsuden 仏殿. Compared to the kondou, the koudou had simple bracket complexes placed on large bearing blocks and 3-on-1 non-projecting bracket complexes that were parallel to the wall. Inside the altar filled a single bay and the remaining space had only an earthen floor. On each side of the Buddhist altar were high seats for lecturers, or readers of the sutras. The priests sat on wooden benches while listening to the lectures.

2 The term koudou, was also used to reger to schools where young males were educated. Such schools were either feudal clan or goverment schools. The Shizutani 閑谷 School (1701) in Okayama prefecture, is one example.


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