oodoguchi 大戸口
KEY WORD : architecture / folk dwellings
1 The main entrance to traditional vernacular houses *minka 民家, the kitchen buildings: *daidokoro 台所 of upper class residences, the *kuri 庫裡 of temples, and a range of other ancillary structures which provided access to the earth-floored area *doma 土間. Reflecting the doma's importance as a work area, the entrance was usually one bay wide so that agricultural produce, goods, and supplies could be carried easily in and out of the structure. It was closed with an *oodo 大戸 (great door), the size and solidity of which were believed to have given the entrance its name. The oodoguchi was sometimes located in the gable end of the building or in the side parallel to the ridge of the roof. In the former case, the building is said to be *tsumairi 妻入, and in the latter case *hirairi 平入. In cases where the earth-floored area had more than one entrance, the most prominent one was referred to as the oodoguchi. In most Edo period minka, the oodoguchi was the entrance generally used by household members, although by the latter half of the Edo period the largest minka had acquired an entrance hall *genkan 玄関, for the use of exalted guests and sometimes an intermediate entrance *uchigenkan 内玄関 as well. The architectural treatment of the great door served to emphasize its symbolic significance, with deliberately oversized door posts and lintel *magusa まぐさ. A common motif found in old houses in the Kansai 関西 region from the end of the 16c was the use of a deep, slightly curved lintel with decoratively upswept ends, recalling the style of some *torii 鳥居 at the entrance of shrine precincts. The oodoguchi is also referred to as to-no-guchi 戸の口 in farmhouses in Iwate, Yamagata, Kyoto and Tottori prefectures.

2 In traditional vernacular houses *minka 民家, in the Tango 丹後 area of Kyoto, the area under the pent roof *hisashi 廂, at the front of the house, near the main doma entrance.

3 In minka in Akita prefecture, oodoguchi refers to the area behind the wall panel *sodekabe 袖壁, that flanks the main doma entrance. The great door *oodo 大戸, a one-way sliding door *katabikido 片引戸, slides into this area.


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