Thursday, January 24, 2013

Japanese Gate Typology (20)

This is a series of posts describing the many varieties of Japanese gate, or mon (). If you look at the preceding kanji more closely,  you can think of it as a picture of a pair of swinging doors, reminiscent of saloon doors in a wild west movie. I thought that it would be a nice idea to bring more awareness to a western audience as to the tremendous diversity in forms and types of Japanese gates. This series intends to be a gateway to gates.


Previous posts in this series:
  1. Heijūmon 
  2. Kabukimon 
  3. Kōraimon 
  4. Yakuimon 
  5. Yotsu-ashimon 
  6. Munamon 
  7. Commentary
  8. Uzumimon 
  9. Yaguramon 
  10. Rōmon
  11. Shōrōmon
  12. Taikomon
  13. Nijūmon
  14. Sanmon 
  15. Niōmon 
  16. Nitenmon
  17. Sōmon 
  18. Wakimon 
  19. Chokushimon
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Onarimon (御成門)

Onari (御成) means the visit or departure of a 'high personage', like a prince, regent, or other nobleman (kijin, 貴人). The onarimon is perhaps best termed a prince or regent's gate - this is a gate named for the class of persons who may use it, and the form can vary somewhat.

Here's an onarimon in Miyagi Prefecture, at Zuiganji (瑞巌寺):


Built with a tiled (kawara-buki) irimoya roof.

A view from the inside reveals that this is a yakuimon in terms of structural system, the ridge off-center from the four-post footprint:


The above image is from JAANUS, and the little blue arrow is pointing at the rear support post, hikae-bashira.

A closer look at that rear support post, and associated bracing:


In Fukuyama Prefecture there is an old nobleman's house called Takeshima-ke (竹島家), which has an onarimon:


Another yakuimon in structure, this time with a gabled, kirizuma roof.

A closer look at the doors:


A more side-on view showing the gate within the tile roofed fence:


The roof is slightly convex, termed mukuri yane.

A closer look at the gable and and ridge, sheathed in copper shingles:


Next, the onarimon at Daitoku-in (台徳院), which is part of the Zōjō-ji (増上寺) temple complex in Tokyo:


Daitoku-in is a mausolea complex where some members of the Tokugawa Shogunate were interred.

After topping out on the stair climb, a view of the gate from the side:


A four-legged gate, yotsuashi-mon, and very ornate like the mausoleum gates we saw at Nikkō.

A fairly dramatic piece of frontage:


Peeking through the gate, one can see the unusual window to the left, and the sangarado (桟唐戸), or frame-and-panel Chinese style doors:

Next up is an onarimon at the famous Shugaku-in (修学院離宮) Imperial Villa in Kyoto:

The gate fronts the upper garden's teahouse area, or kami-no-ocha-ya (上御茶屋) the teahouse being called the Rin-un-tei (隣雲亭), a simple, single-room building  of 18 mats, built in 1824.

As this view from the inside shows, the gate is a munamon:


All for now - glad you could make the time for this today. More posts to come in this series:  on to post 21.

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