The Architecture Of Ancient Japan

The Architecture Of Ancient Japan

Temple architecture of Ancient Japan can be divided into two main types – Shinto and Buddhist. On design features of religious buildings is very strongly influenced by Chinese traditions. However at all times the Japanese as much as possible adapted the buildings to their own culture. The dwelling was rather simple forms and internal relations of the rooms.

The main features of Japanese architecture

• Almost all buildings, the temple and the secular was made from wood. Japan and now is very rich in forests. In the past there were even more. Houses made of logs are allowed to keep the optimal temperature in a relatively hot climate of this country. In addition, wooden structures better withstand earthquakes, which are frequent here. A log house is also quite easy to disassemble and reassemble at the new location.

• Large roof, usually a gable. Japan is a country in which very often there is heavy rain. So the roof had to be as reliable. The impact of Chinese culture manifested in this constructive element in the large curved eaves. However, the Japanese roofs are slightly more finesse. The corners are bent too much – the roof is almost flat.

• All buildings most harmoniously fit into the surrounding landscape. No wonder that in this country the Church is often called the mountain or the forest, even if there is no structure. Religious buildings are usually in the Park or stand on stilts on the water.

• Most of the monuments – not individual buildings, and entire complexes consisting of several buildings, forming a single ensemble.

Ancient Japanese Shinto Shrine usually consists of the main gate, library, main temple, the treasures, the pagoda (tiered) and the temple for sermons. The gate (torii) is a real calling card of this country. They are required to exist in every religious building. In some temples you can see the whole of the colonnade of the gate. They can be made from any materials – iron, bronze and granite. However, most often using a tree. Their height can also be different. Secular and religious architecture of Japan reached its full flowering in the VIII—XII centuries in the so-called cheyunski period (named after the new capital of Heian, these days – Kyoto). In this period were built such monuments as the temples of Kiyomizu, Silver and Golden pavilions, Nijo castle, Heian Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, a stone garden, Rienzi and many others.

The kinkakuji – Golden pavilion

One of the most remarkable monuments of Japan can be considered the Kinkakuji – ensemble in Kyoto, the monastery of Rokuonji. It was built in the XIV century and is a three-tiered temple-Palace. The first floor has a reception room, surrounded by a veranda. On the second once housed the hall of music and poetry. All the rooms here are richly decorated with paintings. The main feature of the third floor are huge arched window openings. Once there took place a religious ceremony. The roof of the building is decorated with the mythical bird the Phoenix. The distinctive features of the Church can be called slit wall, patterned grating-cornices, light pillars and original form of Windows. All this makes the building extraordinarily harmonious. Backwaters temples are absolutely straight and is not decorated in harmony with the trunks of the surrounding trees. The shape of the roof follows the curves of the branches of fir-trees. Thus, the building is extremely harmoniously into the surrounding landscape.

The Izumo temple and the Shrine of ISE

These two buildings can almost be considered the most ancient monuments of Japanese architecture. The majestic temple of Izumo was built in honor of God Okuninushi and rebuilt many times until 1744. However, it is believed that the main sanctuary of the temple completely preserved plan of an ancient Japanese residential architecture. Is it a building with access via front street. The ISE Shrine consists of two complexes. One of them plays strictly religious role. The second repeats the first. Move the deity from one temple to another every 20 years. The main distinctive features of this complex is dug into the ground simple columns, struts and thatched roof.

Garden of stones reandsi

The ryōan-JI temple – another of the great monuments of Japanese architecture, located in the northwestern part of Kyoto. It is located in the vicinity of the Golden pavilion. Once upon a time this building belonged to the family of the Fujiwara. The last owner of the Hosokawa Harumoto wished that after his death it was converted into a Zen temple. The main attraction of this complex is the garden of stones. Very interesting can be demonstrated by the fact that from any point of the garden the eye of the visitor offer a total of 14 stones. The fifteenth can only be seen through the initiation. Why and who gave this ensemble is completely unknown. So, the main feature of Japanese temple architecture is the harmonious combination of all elements of the ensemble with the surrounding landscape, as well as the use of natural materials – particularly wood.

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