Japanese Buddhist architecture is the architecture of Buddhist temples in Japan, consisting of locally developed variants of architectural styles born in China. After Buddhism arrived the continent via Three Kingdoms of Korea in the 6th century, an effort was initially made to reproduce original buildings as faithfully as possible, but gradually local versions of continental styles were developed both to meet Japanese tastes and to solve problems posed by local weather, which is more rainy and humid than in China. The first Buddhist sects were Nara's six Nanto Rokushū (南都六宗 Nara six sects),[nb 1] followed during the Heian period by Kyoto's Shingon and Tendai. Later, during the Kamakura period, in Kamakura were born the Jōdo and the native Japanese sect Nichiren-shū. At roughly the same time Zen Buddhism arrived from China, strongly influencing all other sects in many ways, including architecture. The social composition of Buddhism's followers also changed radically with time. In the beginning it was the elite's religion, but slowly it spread from the noble to warriors, merchants and finally to the population at large. On the technical side, new woodworking tools like the framed pit saw[nb 2] and the plane allowed new architectonic solutions.
Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines share their basic characteristics and often differ only in details that the non-specialist may not notice. This similarity is because the sharp division between Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines[nb 3] is recent, dating to the Meiji period's policy of separation of Buddhism and Shinto (Shinbutsu bunri) of 1868. Before the Meiji Restoration it was common for a Buddhist temple to be built inside or next to a shrine, or for a shrine to include Buddhist sub-temples. If a shrine housed a Buddhist temple, it was called a jingū-ji (神宮寺 lit. shrine temple). Analogously, temples all over Japan used to adopt tutelary kami (chinju (鎮守/鎮主) and built shrines within their precincts to house them. After the forcible separation of temples and shrines ordered by the new government, the connection between the two religions was officially severed, but continued nonetheless in practice and is still visible today.
Buddhist architecture in Japan during the country's whole history has absorbed much of the best available natural and human resources. Particularly between the 8th and the 16th centuries, it led the development of new structural and ornamental features. For these reasons, its history is vital to the understanding of not only Buddhist architecture itself, but also of Japanese art in general.
Buddhist architecture in Japan is not native, but was imported from China and other Asian cultures over the centuries with such constancy that the building styles of all Six Dynasties are represented. Its history is as a consequence dominated by Chinese and other Asian techniques and styles (present even in Ise Shrine, held to be the quintessence of Japanese architecture) on one side, and by Japanese original variations on those themes on the other.
Partly due also to the variety of climates in Japan and the millennium encompassed between the first cultural import and the last, the result is extremely heterogeneous, but several practically universal features can nonetheless be found. First of all is the choice of materials, always wood in various forms (planks, straw, tree bark, etc.) for almost all structures. Unlike both Western and some Chinese architecture, the use of stone is avoided except for certain specific uses, for example temple podia and pagoda foundations.
The general structure is almost always the same: columns and lintels support a large and gently curved roof, while the walls are paper-thin, often movable and in any case non-carrying. Arches and barrel roofs are completely absent. Gable and eave curves are gentler than in China and columnar entasis (convexity at the center) limited.
The roof is the most visually impressive component, often constituting half the size of the whole edifice. The slightly curved eaves extend far beyond the walls, covering verandas, and their weight must therefore be supported by complex bracket systems called tokyō. These oversize eaves give the interior a characteristic dimness, which contributes to the temple's atmosphere. The interior of the building normally consists of a single room at the center called moya, from which sometimes depart other less important spaces, for example corridors called hisashi.
Inner space divisions are fluid, and room size can be modified through the use of screens or movable paper walls. The large, single space offered by the main hall can therefore be altered according to the need. The separation between inside and outside is itself in some measure not absolute as entire walls can be removed, opening the temple to visitors. Verandas appear to be part of the building to an outsider, but part of the external world to those in the temple. Structures are therefore made to a certain extent part of their environment. The use of construction modules keeps proportions between different parts of the edifice constant, preserving its overall harmony.[nb 4]
Being shared by both sacred and profane architecture, these architectonic features made it easy converting a lay building into a temple. This happened for example at Hōryū-ji, where a noblewoman's mansion was transformed into a religious building.
Buddhism is not a Japanese native religion, and its architecture arrived from the continent via Korea together with the first Buddhists in the 6th century. Officially adopted in the wake of the Battle of Shigisan in 587, after that date Buddhist temples began to be constructed. Because of the hostility of supporters of local kami beliefs towards Buddhism, no temple of that period survives, so we don't know what they were like. Thanks to the Nihon Shoki, however, we do know that an architect, six Buddhist priests and an image maker from the Korean kingdom of Paekche came to Japan in 577 to advise the Japanese on the arrangement of monastic buildings. The layout of Ōsaka's Shitennō-ji (see below) reflects the plan of Chongyimsa temple in Buyeo, capital of Paekche from 538 to 663. We know for certain that Soga no Umako built Hōkō-ji, the first temple in Japan, between 588 and 596. It was later renamed as Asuka-dera for Asuka, the name of the capital where it was located. Prince Shōtoku actively promoted Buddhism and ordered the construction of Shitennō-ji in Osaka (593) and Hōryū-ji near his palace in Ikaruga (completed in 603). During this period, temple layout was strictly prescribed and followed mainland styles, with a main gate facing south and the most sacred area surrounded by a semi-enclosed roofed corridor (kairō) accessible through a middle gate (chūmon). The sacred precinct contained a pagoda, which acted as a reliquary for sacred objects, and a main hall (kon-dō). The complex might have other structures such as a lecture hall (kō-dō), a belfry (shōrō), a sūtra repository (kyōzō), priests' and monks' quarters and bathhouses. The ideal temple had a heart formed by seven structures called shichidō garan, or "seven hall temple". Buddhism, and the construction of temples, spread from the capital to outlying areas in the Hakuhō period from 645 to 710. In addition, many temples were built in locations favored by the precepts of Chinese geomancy. The arrangements not only of the buildings, groups of trees and ponds of the compound, but also of mountains and other geographic features in particular directions around the temple played important roles as well.
The Chinese five elements school of thought believed that many natural phenomena naturally fell under five categories. Six groups of five categories were established as a rule to the building of edifices.
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A palace for a new prince would for example be placed east to symbolize birth, and yellow tiles would be used for the imperial palace to symbolize power.
The five elements theory is also the basis of the gorintō, an extremely common stone stupa whose invention is attributed to Kūkai. Its five sections (a cube, a sphere, a pyramid, a crescent and a lotus-shaped cusp) stand each for one of the five elements.
Chinese numerology also played an important role. According to the Yin-Yang school, which started in about 305 BC, Yang stood for the sun, warmth, maleness and odd numbers, while Yin stood for their opposites. In groups of buildings, therefore, halls occurred in odd numbers because halls themselves were believed to be Yang. Being Yang, odd numbers in general are considered positive and lucky, and Buddhism shows a preference for odd numbers. In the case of storied pagodas, either in stone or wood, the number of stories is almost always odd. Practically all wooden pagodas have either three or five-stories. Specimen with a different number of stories used to exist, but none has survived.
Because of fire, earthquakes, typhoons and wars, few of those ancient temples still exist. Hōryū-ji, rebuilt after a fire in 670, is the only one still possessing 7th-century structures, the oldest extant wooden buildings in the world.
Unlike early kami worship shrines, early Buddhist temples were highly ornamental and strictly symmetrical (see reconstruction of Asuka-dera above). Starting with Hōryū-ji in the late 7th century, temples began to move towards irregular ground plans that resulted in an asymmetric arrangement of buildings, greater use of natural materials such as cypress bark instead of roof tiling, and an increased awareness of natural environment with the placement of buildings among trees. This adaptation was assisted by the syncretism of kami and Buddhism, which through Japanese traditional nature worship gave Buddhism a greater attention to natural surroundings. During the first half of the 8th century, Emperor Shōmu decreed temples and nunneries be erected in each province and that Tōdai-ji be built as a headquarters for the network of temples. The head temple was inaugurated in 752 and was of monumental dimensions with two seven-storied pagodas, each ca. 100 m (330 ft) tall and a Great Buddha Hall (daibutsuden) about 80 m × 70 m (260 ft × 230 ft). Nara period Buddhism was characterised by seven influential state supported temples, the so-called Nanto Shichi Daiji. Octagonal structures such as the Hall of Dreams at Hōryū-ji built as memorial halls and storehouses exemplified by the Shōsōin first appeared during the Nara period. Temple structures, such as pagodas and main halls, had increased significantly in size since the late 6th century. The placement of the pagoda moved to a more peripheral location and the roof bracketing system increased in complexity as roofs grew larger and heavier.
Another early effort to reconcile kami worship and Buddhism was made in the 8th century during the Nara period with the founding of the so-called jungūji (神宮寺), or "shrine-temples". The use in a Shinto shrine of Buddhist religious objects was believed to be necessary since the kami were lost beings in need of liberation through the power of Buddha. Kami were thought to be subject to karma and reincarnation like human beings, and early Buddhist stories tell how the task of helping suffering kami was assumed by wandering monks. A local kami would appear in a dream to the monk, telling him about his suffering. To improve the kami's karma through rites and the reading of sutras, the monk would build a temple next to the kami's shrine. Such groupings were created already in the 7th century, for example in Usa, Kyūshū, where kami Hachiman was worshiped together with Miroku Bosatsu (Maitreya) at Usa Hachiman-gū.
At the end of the same century, in what is considered the second stage of the amalgamation, the kami Hachiman was declared to be protector-deity of the Dharma and a little bit later a bodhisattva. Shrines for him started to be built at temples, marking an important step ahead in the process of amalgamation of kami and Buddhist cults. When the great Buddha at Tōdai-ji in Nara was built, within the temple grounds was also erected a shrine for Hachiman, according to the legend because of a wish expressed by the kami himself. This coexistence of Buddhism and kami worship, in religion as well as architecture, continued until the Kami and Buddhas Separation Order (神仏判然令 shinbutsu hanzen-rei, lit. kami Buddha separation order) of 1868.
During the Heian period Buddhism became even more infused with Japanese elements: It met and assimilated local beliefs concerning ghosts and spirits (the so-called onrei and mitama), developing traits close to magic and sorcery which allowed it to penetrate a wide spectrum of social classes. Its merging with indigenous religious belief was then accelerated by the systematization of the syncretism of Buddhism and local religious beliefs (see the article on the honji suijaku theory, which claimed that Japanese kami were simply Buddhist gods under a different name). It was in this kind of environment that Fujiwara no Michinaga and retired Emperor Shirakawa competed in erecting new temples, in the process giving birth to the Jōdo-kyō[nb 5] architecture and the new wayō architectural style.
The early Heian period (9th–10th century) saw an evolution of styles based on the esoteric sects Tendai and Shingon. These two sects followed faithfully the Nanto Rokushū architectonic tradition in the plains, but in mountainous areas developed an original style. This development was facilitated by the syncretic fusion of foreign Buddhism with local mountain worship cults. Called wayō (和様 Japanese style) to distinguish it from imported Chinese styles, it was characterized by simplicity, refrain for ornamentation, use of natural timber and in general plain materials. Structurally, it was distinguished by: a main hall divided in two parts; an outer area for novices and an inner area for initiates; a hip-and-gable roof covering both areas; a raised wooden floor instead of the tile or stone floors of earlier temples; extended eaves to cover the front steps; shingles or bark rather than tile roofing; and a disposition of the garan adapting to the natural environment, and not following the traditional symmetrical layouts. The tahōtō, a two-storied tower with some resemblance to Indian stupas, was also introduced by these sects during this period. According to an ancient Buddhist prophecy, the world would enter a dark period called Mappō in 1051. During this period the Tendai sect believed that enlightenment was possible only through the veneration of Amida Buddha. Consequently, many so-called Paradise (or Amida) Halls—such as the Phoenix Hall at Byōdō-in (1053), the Main Hall of Jōruri-ji (1157) and the Golden Hall at Chūson-ji (1124)—were built by the Imperial Family or members of the aristocracy to recreate the western paradise of Amida on earth. Amida Halls that enshrined the nine statues of Amida[nb 6] were popular during the 12th century (late Heian period). The Main Hall of Jōruri-ji is however the only example of such a hall still extant.
The Kamakura period (1185–1333) brought to power the warrior caste, which expressed in its religious architecture its necessities and tastes. The influential Zen arrived in Japan from China, and the Jōdō sect achieved independence. In architecture this period is characterized by the birth of fresh and rational designs.
The first, introduced by the priest Chōgen, was based on Song Dynasty architecture and represented the antithesis of the simple and traditional wayō style. The Nandaimon at Tōdai-ji and the Amida Hall at Jōdo-ji are the only extant examples of this style. Originally called tenjikuyō (天竺様 lit. Indian style), because it had nothing to do with India it was rechristened by scholar Ōta Hirotarō during the 20th century, and the new term stuck. Ōta derived the name from Chōgen's work, particularly Tōdai-ji's Daibutsuden.
The Zen style was originally called karayō (唐様 Chinese style) and, like the Daibutsu style, was rechristened by Ōta. Its characteristics are earthen floors, subtly curved pent roofs (mokoshi) and pronouncedly curved main roofs, cusped windows (katōmado) and paneled doors. Examples of this style include the belfry at Tōdai-ji, the Founder's Hall at Eihō-ji and the Shariden at Engaku-ji. The Zen garan usually does not have a pagoda and, when it does, it is relegated to a peripheral position.
These three styles we have seen (wayō, daibutsuyō and zen'yō) were often combined during the Muromachi period (1336–1573), giving birth to the so-called Eclectic Style (折衷様 setchūyō), exemplified by the main hall at Kakurin-ji. The combination of wayō and daibutsuyō in particular became so frequent that sometimes it is called by scholars Shin-wayō (新和様 new wayō). By the end of the Muromachi period (late 16th century), Japanese Buddhist architecture had reached its apogee. Construction methods had been perfected and building types conventionalized.
After the turbulence of the Sengoku period and the establishment of the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603, old temples like Hieizan, Tō-ji and Tōdai-ji lost their power and the schools of Buddhism were surpassed in influence by the Nichiren-shū and Jōdo-shū. The Edo period was an era of unprecedented building fervor in religious architecture. The number of faithful coming for prayer or pilgrimage had increased, so designs changed to take into account their necessities, and efforts were made to catch their ears and eyes. Old sects limited themselves to revive old styles and ideas, while the new relied on huge spaces and complex designs. Both, in spite of their differences, have in common a reliance on splendor and excess. Early pre-modern temples were saved from monotony by elaborate structural details, the use of undulating karahafu gables and the use of buildings of monumental size. While structural design tended to become gradually more rational and efficient, the surface of religious edifices did the opposite, growing more elaborate and complex. After the middle Edo period, passed its zenith, religious architecture ended up just repeating told ideas, losing its innovative spirit and entering its final decline. Representative examples for the Momoyama (1568–1603) and Edo period (1603–1868) temple architecture are the Karamon at Hōgon-ji and the main hall of Kiyomizu-dera, respectively.
In 1868 the government enacted its policy of separation of Buddhas and kami called Shinbutsu bunri, with catastrophic consequences for the architecture of both temples and shrines. Until that time, the syncretism of kami and buddhas had posed little problem, and brought a measure of harmony between the adherents of the two religions, and under the syncretic system, many customs evolved that are still in practice and are best understood under the syncretic context. Because many structures became illegal where they stood, such as Buddhist pagodas within the precincts of Shinto shrines, they had to be destroyed, according to the letter of the law. An estimated 30,000 Buddhist structures were demolished between 1868 and 1874. Buddhism eventually made a recovery in many parts of the country, yet in others, most notably in Kagoshima prefecture, there is still a near absence of Buddhist structures.
The Abhidharmadīpa or Lamp of Abhidharma is an Abhidharma text thought to have been authored by Vasumitra as a response to Vasubandhu's Abhidharmakośakārikā.
The text consists of verse and prose commentary. It currently survives as an incomplete collection of Sanskrit fragments. However, the text is valuable insofar as it confirms the identity of Vasubandhu as author of the Abhidharmakośakārikā.Anāgāmi
In Buddhism, an anāgāmi (Sanskrit and Pāli for "non-returning") is a partially enlightened person who has cut off the first five chains that bind the ordinary mind. Anāgāmis are the third of the four aspirants.
Anagamis are not reborn into the human world after death, but into the heaven of the Pure Abodes, where only anāgāmis live. There they attain full enlightenment (arahantship).
The Pali terms for the specific chains or fetters (Pali: saṃyojana) of which an anāgāmi is free are:
Sakkāya-diṭṭhi: Belief in atmān or self
Sīlabbata-parāmāsa: Attachment to rites and rituals
Vicikicchā: Skeptical doubt
Kāma-rāga: Sensuous craving
Byāpāda: ill willThe fetters from which an anāgāmi is not yet free are:
Rūparāga: Craving for fine-material existence (the first 4 jhanas)
Arūparāga: Craving for immaterial existence (the last 4 jhanas)
Avijjā: IgnoranceKāmarāga and Byāpāda, which they are free from, can also be interpreted as craving for becoming and non-becoming, respectively.
Anāgāmis are at an intermediate stage between sakadagamis and arahants. Arahants enjoy complete freedom from the ten fetters. An anāgāmi's mind is very pure.Buddhism in Venezuela
Buddhism in Venezuela is practiced by over 52,000 people (roughly 0.2% of the population). The Buddhist community is made up mainly of Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans.
Most identify with the Mahayana tradition, reflecting the religious heritage of their emigrant countries.
However, in the mid-1990s Keun-Tshen Goba (né Ezequiel Hernandez Urdaneta), together with Jigme Rinzen, founded a meditation center using the Shambhala Training method.
There are Buddhist centers in Caracas, Maracay, Mérida, Puerto Ordáz, San Felipe, and Valencia.Buddhist temple
A Buddhist temple is the place of worship for Buddhists, the followers of Buddhism. They include the structures called vihara, chaitya stupa, wat and pagoda in different regions and languages. Temples in Buddhism represent the pure land or pure environment of a Buddha. Traditional Buddhist temples are designed to inspire inner and outer peace. Its structure and architecture varies from region to region. Usually, the temple consists not only of its buildings, but also the surrounding environment. The Buddhist temples are designed to symbolize 5 elements: Fire, Air, Earth, Water, and Wisdom.Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System
Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System or JAANUS is an online dictionary of Japanese architecture and art terms compiled by Dr. Mary Neighbour Parent. It contains approximately eight thousand entries. It is searchable in both English and romaji and contains many hyperlinks and illustrations.Karamon
The karamon or karakado (唐門, Chinese gate) is a type of gate seen in Japanese architecture. It is characterized by the usage of karahafu, an undulating bargeboard peculiar to Japan. Karamon are often used at the entrances of Japanese castles, Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, and have historically been a symbol of authority.Kuri (kitchen)
A kuri (庫裏, lit. warehouse behind) or kuin (庫院, lit. warehouse hall) is the kitchen of a Zen monastery, typically located behind the butsuden (or, Buddha Hall). Historically the kuri was a kitchen which prepared meals only for the abbot and his guests, though in modern Japan it now functions as the kitchen and administrative office for the entire monastery.Kyōzō
Kyōzō (経蔵) in Japanese Buddhist architecture is a repository for sūtras and chronicles of the temple history. It is also called kyōko (経庫), kyō-dō (経堂), or zōden (蔵殿). In ancient times the kyōzō was placed opposite the belfry on the east–west axis of the temple. The earliest extant kyōzō is at Hōryū-ji, and it is a two-storied structure. An example of one-storied kyōzō is at Tōshōdai-ji in Nara. A kyōzō's usual size is 3 x 3 ken. Mahayana Buddhism is one of the sects within Buddhism and one way to create written sutras or sermons. Unlike Judeo-Christian religions, including Islam, Buddhism does not revere those written words, or sutras, as the Christians, the Muslims, or the Jews do. The title of this article is Circumambulatory Reading: Revolving Sutra Libraries and Buddhist Scrolls and circumambulation, or walking around while taking it in, is prevalent in Buddhism because the wheel is the international sign of Buddhism. Revolving sutra libraries were invented in China and were later brought to Japan. Revolving sutra libraries were created for the same reason, and if a temple visitor revolved that library, they would amass the same esteem as if they had read the entire sutra (Eubanks, 2010).All storage buildings are equipped with shelving to store the containers that hold the rolled sūtras. Some temples have circular revolving shelves for sūtra storage: a central pillar revolves, like a vertical axle, and octahedral tubes are attached to it. A revolving sūtra storage case is called rinzō (輪蔵, wheel repository). Revolving shelves are convenient because they allow priests and monks to select the needed sūtra quickly. Eventually, in some kyōzō the faithful were permitted to push the shelves around the pillar while praying—it was believed that they could receive religious edification without reading the sūtras.Some scripture houses are National Treasures of Japan:
The kyōzō of Tōshōdai-ji
The kyōzō of Hōryū-ji
The kyōzō of Ankoku-jiList of Buddhas
This is a list of historical, contemporary, and legendary figures which at least one school of Buddhism considers to be a Buddha and which have an article on Wikipedia:
Amitābha, principal Buddha of Pure Land Buddhism
Nichiren Daishonin, Buddha of the Latter Day of the Law (Nikko Lineage)
Vairocana, embodiment of the Dharmakaya
Yeshe TsogyalList of suttas
Suttas from the Sutta Pitaka of the Pali Canon.
List of Digha Nikaya suttas
List of Majjhima Nikaya suttas
List of Samyutta Nikaya suttas
List of Anguttara Nikaya suttas
List of Khuddaka Nikaya suttasPunna
Pūrṇa Maitrāyanīputra (Sanskrit; Pali: Puṇṇa Mantānīputta, Chinese: 富楼那弥多罗尼子; pinyin: fùlóunàmíduōluónízǐ), also simply known as Pūrṇa (Sanskrit; Pali: Puṇṇa), was an arhat and one of the ten principal disciples of Gautama Buddha.Rinpoche
Rinpoche, also spelled Rimboche and Rinboku (Tibetan: རིན་པོ་ཆེ་, Wylie: rin po che, THL: Rinpoché, ZYPY: Rinboqê), is an honorific term used in the Tibetan language. It literally means "precious one", and may be used to refer to a person, place, or thing--like the words "gem" or "jewel" (Sanskrit Ratna).
The word consists of rin(value) and po(nominative suffix) and chen(big).
The word is used in the context of Tibetan Buddhism as a way of showing respect when addressing those recognized as reincarnated, older, respected, notable, learned and/or an accomplished Lamas or teachers of the Dharma. It is also used as an honorific for abbots of monasteries.Sakadagami
In Buddhism, the Sakadāgāmin (Pali; Sanskrit: Sakṛdāgāmin), "returning once" or "once-returner," is a partially enlightened person, who has cut off the first three chains with which the ordinary mind is bound, and significantly weakened the fourth and fifth. Sakadagaminship is the second stage of the four stages of enlightenment.
The Sakadagamin will be reborn into the realm of the senses at most once more. If, however, he attains the next stage of enlightenment (Anagamiship) in this life, he will not come back to this world.
The three specific chains or fetters (Pali: saṃyojana) of which the Sakadagamin is free are:
1. Sakkāya-diṭṭhi (Pali) - Belief in self
2. Sīlabbata-parāmāsa (Pali) - Attachment to rites and rituals
3. Vicikicchā (Pali) - Skeptical doubtThe Sakadagami also significantly weakened the chains of:
4. Kāma-rāga (Pali) - Sensuous craving
5. Byāpāda (Pali) - Ill-will
Thus, the Sakadagamin is an intermediate stage between the Sotapanna, who still has comparatively strong sensuous desire and ill-will, and the Anagami, who is completely free from sensuous desire and ill-will. A Sakadagami's mind is very pure. Thoughts connected with greed, hatred and delusion do not arise often, and when they do, do not become obsessive.Setchūyō
Setchūyō (折衷様, lit. eclectic style) is an architectural style born in Japan during the Muromachi period from the fusion of elements from three different antecedent styles: the wayō, the daibutsuyō and zenshūyō. It is exemplified by the main hall at Kakurin-ji. The combination of wayō and daibutsuyō in particular became so frequent that sometimes it is classed separately by scholars under the name Shin-wayō (新和様, new wayō).Threefold Training
The Buddha identified the threefold training (trisikkhā) as training in:
higher virtue (adhisīla-sikkhā)
higher mind (adhicitta-sikkhā)
higher wisdom (adhipaññā-sikkhā)Tokyō
The tokyō (斗栱・斗拱, more often 斗きょう) (also called kumimono (組物) or masugumi (斗組)) is a system of supporting blocks (斗 or 大斗, masu or daito, lit. block or big block) and brackets (肘木, hijiki, lit. elbow wood) supporting the eaves of a Japanese building, usually part of a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine. The use of tokyō is made necessary by the extent to which the eaves protrude, a functionally essential element of Japanese Buddhist architecture. The system has however always had also an important decorative function. Like most architectural elements in Japan, the system is Chinese in origin (on the subject, see the article Dougong) but has evolved since its arrival into several original forms.
In its simplest configuration, the bracket system has a single projecting bracket and a single block, and is called hitotesaki. If the first bracket and block group support a second similar one, the whole system is called futatesaki, if three brackets are present it is called mitesaki, and so on until a maximum of six brackets as in the photo to the right.
Each supporting block in most cases supports, besides the next bracket, a U-shaped supporting bracket set at 90° to the first (see photos in the gallery below).
The Protection of Cultural Properties logo (see gallery below) represents a tokyō, considered an element of Japanese architecture which stands for the continuity in time of cultural property protection.Tsurugaoka Hachimangū
Tsurugaoka Hachimangū (鶴岡八幡宮) is the most important Shinto shrine in the city of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The shrine is at the geographical and cultural center of the city of Kamakura, which has largely grown around it and its 1.8 km approach. It is the venue of many of its most important festivals, and hosts two museums.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangū was for most of its history not only a Hachiman shrine, but also a Tendai Buddhist temple, a fact which explains its general layout, typical of Japanese Buddhist architecture.At the left of its great stone stairway stood a 1000-year-old ginkgo tree, which was uprooted by a storm in the early hours of March 10, 2010. The shrine is an Important Cultural Property.Ṛddhi
In Buddhism, rddhi powers (Sanskrit; Pali: iddhi) are "psychic powers", one of the five or six supernormal powers (abhijñā) of the mundane plane attained by performing the four dhyānas. The normal Sanskrit meaning of ṛddhi is "increase, growth, prosperity, success, good fortune, wealth, abundance".
Elements of Japanese architecture
Model of Himeji Castle
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