munafuda 棟札
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
Ridge tag. A narrow, wooden tag or marker, measuring from 30cm to 1m long, upon which pertinent information regarding a building's repairs or reconstruction is written with brush and ink. It is inscribed with dates, the buildings' names, the donors' names, and sometimes prayers, and attached to the ridge pole during a ridge-raising ceremony. Often the top of the marker is pointed. In the case of minor repairs that do not involve the ridge or ridge area, a tag may be placed elsewhere. Less often the date is written directly on a member itself. During dismantling repairs, kaitai shuuri 解体修理, valuable, historical information about a building has been obtained from ridge tags. The oldest, extant munafuda belongs to Chuusonji 中尊寺, Iwate prefecture and is dated 1222 inscribed but the other information is illegible. The ridge tag at Taimadera *Hondou 当麻寺本堂 (1161), and the ridge tag at Toudaiji *Hokkedou 東大寺法華堂 (1199). To determine the size of a ridge tag the long side of the carpenter's square *kanejaku 曲尺 was used. It is called monjaku 門尺. However, when this method began is unknown.


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