roumon 楼門
KEY WORD : architecture / gates
A high gate that is often referred to as a two-storied gate, but in fact does not have two stories. Generally, it is an 8-leffed gate *hakkyakumon 八脚門. The Roumon at Hannyaji 般若寺 (1264) in Nara, is a 4-legged gate with a single entrance the width of the gate, The roumon has only one main roof over the whole gate in contrast to a true 2-storied gate that has a flanking roof that surrounds the whole structure above the pillars *hashira 柱, and bracket complexes *tokyou 斗きょう of the first story. The roumon has no usable space in the upper area. Instead of a flanking roof, it has a very shallow-balcony with a balustrade that skirts the entire gate above the secondly pillars which are capped by bracket complexes *koshigumi 腰組. These support both the balcony, the short posts and other upper structural elements which carry the weight of the roof. Roumon usually have a hip-and-gable roof *irimoya yane 入母屋屋根, covered with tile *hongawarabuki 本瓦葺, shingles *kokerabuki 柿葺, o r cypress bark *hiwadabuki 桧皮葺. The bracket complexes may be in the wayou style *wayou 和様, or Zen style *zenshuuyou 禅宗様. The upper area may have two or three vertical muntins set in window frames, *renjimado 連子窓, or have window set in the center bay. The side bays may be covered with white plaster. There is great variety of structural detail in roumon gates.
Example: Oono Jjinja Roumon 大野神社楼門 (early Kamakura period) in Shiga prefecture. It is an 8-legged gate. Iwakisan Jinja Roumon 岩木山神社楼門 (1628) in Aomori prefecture, 5 x 3 bays and has 3-entances. Toudaji *Chuumon 東大寺中門 (1711-16) is 5 bays wide with three doors, a hip-and-gable roof *irimoya-zukuri 入母屋造 covered with tile hongawarabuki.
Iwakisan Jinja Roumon, 岩木山神社楼門 (Aomori)
Iwakisan Jinja Roumon, 岩木山神社楼門 (Aomori)


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