kuri 庫裡
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
1 Aiso written 庫裏. A structure in the precincts of a temple originally associated primarily with food preparation. It also came to contain the administrative offices of the temple and accommodation for certain classes of monks, particularly those involved in the everyday running of the temple. Kuri is probably a shortened form of *kuriya 厨. With the introduction of Zen 禅 Buddhism to Japan in the Kamakura period, kuri came to be used as the center of temple administration and food preparation which also often provided accommodation for monks involved in administration. In the symmetrical layout of the classic large-scale Zen temple, the kuri was situated just outside the cloister *kairou 回廊, on the east side of the temple compound to balance the monks' communal living and meditation halls *soudou 僧堂 and *zendou 禅堂, on the west side. A kuri was also found at Zen sect subtemples *tatchuu 塔頭, and in this context its residential character was more marked.
Zuiganji Kuri 瑞巌寺庫裡 (Miyagi)
Zuiganji Kuri 瑞巌寺庫裡 (Miyagi)

2 By the Edo period, kuri was the most widely used term for the monks' lodging in a temple, regardless of sect. Typically it was directly linked to the main hall of the temple or subtemple. Generally, it was a suite of raised-floor living rooms, kyoshitsubu 居室部, and had an earthen floored entry and service area *doma 土間. Surviving examples have many features in common with traditional vernacular houses *minka 民家, of the same period. In the Edo period, kuri were built with their own formal guest reception suites, shoin zashiki 書院座敷. Since many examples have their main entry in the gable end *tsumairi 妻入, the gable facade is often their most distinctive feature, with an elaborate frame incorporating decorative elements such as bracket complexes *tokyou 斗きょう, rainbow beams *kouryou 虹梁, and 'shrimp' rainbow beams *ebikouryou 海老虹梁.


(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. No reproduction or republication without written permission.