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L5: Buddhist Architecture in India, China, and Japan, Exam 2 Required Slides

Terms in this set (59)

cloud-pattern brackets (kumo-hijiki) and cloud-pattern bearing blocks (kumo-to) (7th-8th centuries) The kondo, like the two gates and the pagoda, employs a roof support system consisting of cloud-pattern brackets (kumo-hijiki) and cloud-pattern bearing blocks (kumo-to). These specific "cloud-pattern" brackets are unknown on the continent and are thus probably Japanese in origin. Their distinctive detail is the "tongue" or zetsu that decorates the underside of the transverse beam. This complex architectural system - every bit as complex as the Doric order - was derived from Chinese traditions, though the Japanese quickly developed their own manner of executing it. The Middle Gate is odd in having 4 bays not 5, since normally an odd number was required in order that the central bay act as the passage. Here, it is a column that stands on the axis instead. The columns of the Middle Gate, like those elsewhere in the monastery, have entasis - the swelling that we have seen in columns of the Greeks and Romans. The upper stories of the pagoda are successively diminished in scale, so that the 5th story timberwork is 1/2 that of the ground story. The structure is constructed following a module about 35 cm; thus the central bay on the ground level is 10 units wide, whereas the flanking ones are 7. The width of each floor is diminished by 3 modules each: on the second floor the central bay is 9 units wide and the flanking ones are 6 each; on the next they are 8 and 5, then 7 and 5; on the top, there are 2 bays, each 6 units wide. Throughout all this diminution, however, the wooden elements stay the same size, and thus the elevation becomes more and more crowded as you go up. The framing corridor encircling the main precinct is, surprisingly, not symmetrical: it has 11 bays to the right of the entry, and 10 to the left. This is done to reflect the asymmetry of tall, narrow pagoda and the broader kondo.

Note the "rainbow" beams