megawara 女瓦
KEY WORD : architecture / roofing tiles
Lit. female tile. Also called migawara. Also written 雌瓦, or 牝瓦. A 7 -12c term for a broad concave roof tile fundamental to the construction of a tiled roof *kawarayane 瓦屋根. Examples can be found in the SHOUSOUIN MONJO 正倉院文書 (mid-8c). Megawara were laid first, edges curving upwards, and covered the entire roof. Tiny gaps occurred where the sides of the tiles met, so half-round convex cover tiles *ogawara 男瓦 (male tiles) were then overlaid to cover these gaps. Compared to the modern concave roof tile *hiragawara 平瓦, megawara tiles included a much greater diversity of large and small tiles, and also had a deeper upward curve than similar tiles used today. Like the ogawara, megawara design varied according to period and purpose. In Kyuushuu 九州, bamboos of medium to large diameter were split in half, lengthwise, and used alternately with one half facing upward and the other half used as seam covers, in the same way the tiles were used.


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