shitenbashira 四天柱
KEY WORD : architecture / general terms
The four pillars placed around the central pillar to form a square area on the first story of a pagoda. Four pillars also are placed around the Buddhist altar in an image hall, especially one dedicated to *Amida 阿弥陀, and are then called *raigoubashira 来迎柱. Shitenbashira denote the sanctuary or most sacred area within the structure. If a wall called *raigoukabe 来迎壁 is made between the two rear pillars, they are called raigoubashira. When only two rear pillars are used, they may be called nitenbashira 二天柱. Example: Houkaiji Amidadou 法界寺阿弥陀堂 (12c) in Kyoto.


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