Shousouin 正倉院
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
Also called Souen-in 倉垣院. A treasure store house *houko 宝庫, with a raised floor at Toudaiji 東大寺. The structure is the best known of its type and was built in the Heian period. It has three sections lined-up on a north-south axis. The entire structure is 9 x 3 bays (c.33m long x c.9m deep). The north and south sections are constructed of logs, azekura-zukuri 校倉造 (see *azekura 校倉). Some scholars believe these two sections were originally freestanding and that the middle part was enclosed at a later date resulting in what is called the *narabigura 双倉 (lined-up storehouses). The center part is enclosed with thick, horizontal planks. The three sections vary in width, with the center enclosure being the broadest. Doors are centered on the front facade of each section. The entire structure is supported by 40 heavy posts, 2.4m high from their base stones to the floor joists. Posts supporting the roof structure are positioned inside the structure and against the smooth surfaces of the interior walls made by the triangular-cut logs. In the center of each storage area are four posts set in line with those against the walls. The entire structure is covered by a tiled hipped roof *yosemune-zukuri 寄棟造. Until the Taishou period, the roof structure employed the strut-end-triple beam system, when it was replaced by a western style truss. The Shousouin contains treasures collected by Emperor Shoumu 聖武 (701-56, reigned 724-49). These were donated to Toudaiji and dedicated to the Buddha by Shoumu's widow, Empress Koumyou 光明 in 756.

*koufuuzou 綱封蔵 

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