Beautiful Japanese-style Architecture - Roof-

Beautiful Japanese-style Architecture - Roof-

One of the features of Japanese-style architecture is its magnificent roof. When you see Japanese temples and shrines such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Sensoji Temple, Kaminarimon Gate and Meiji Jingu Shrine, you will definitely notice the heavy roof first.
Today we will introduce something about the charming roof in detail!

  They Are Different Actually?

  The Roofs of Japanese-style Architecture

The roofs of Japanese-style architecture look similar at first glance, but they are different actually. There are generally 3 types called kirizuma-zukuri (gable roof), yosemune-zukuri (hip roof) and irimoya-zukuri (hip-and-gable roof).

"It's very easy to distinguish those 3 types of roofs! ① Kirizuma-zukuri (gable roof) consists of only two sides. When we doodle a house, we often draw a kirizuma-zukuri! ② Yosemune-zukuri (hip roof) consists of four sides. ③ Irimoya-zukuri (hip-and-gable roof) has a gable roof placed at the top and a hip roof below.  It is basically of the highest level and is common in palaces and temples, rarely used for private residence.

Of course, the roofs of Japanese-style architecture are not only designed for beautiful appearance. Compared with brick and stone buildings in Europe and America, these types of roofs also play an important role in protecting wood buildings and earth walls because of the rainy weather in Japan.

  The Roof was Covered With Roof Tiles

Tile roofs are not only common in Japan, but also in China, Europe and America. The birthplace of the roof tile is unknown, and the oldest tile that can be identified nowadays is the 3,000-year-old tile unearthed in China.
In Asuka period, 4 "roof tile doctors" came to Japan from Baekje to present tiles, and then the history of Japanese tile which is called "Wagatakawara" began. According to different functions, the roof tiles used for buildings are divided into two types, sangawara and yakugawara.

 Ⅰ Sangawara

Sangawara is an ordinary tile that is arranged neatly along the slope of the roof.

This guys!

The air layer under the tiles has an effect on heat insulation and sound insulation, and is well designed to avoid water leakage and protect the building.
Sangawara was divided into two types before, hiragawara and marugawara. They were often combined together when used to cover roofs in a way called "hongawarabuki", but it may be less common now, because people usually use sangawara which is a combination of the said two.

This is how it looks from the side view!

The air layer under the tiles has an effect on heat insulation and sound insulation, and is well designed to avoid water leakage and protect the building.
Sangawara was divided into two types before, hiragawara and marugawara. They were often combined together when used to cover roofs in a way called "hongawarabuki", but it may be less common now, because people usually use sangawara which is a combination of the said two.

 Ⅱ Yakugawara

Yakugawara is used for roofing special sections. Basically, except for the ordinary wavy hiragawara, the rest are yakugawara. There are many kinds of yakugawara.

For example, this kind of onigawara.  When used as a decoration, it contains people's desire to exorcise demons and prevent fires. The shachihoko decorated on the roof of the castle also belongs to the onigawara.

For example, this kind of onigawara.
When used as a decoration, it contains people's desire to exorcise demons and prevent fires. The shachihoko decorated on the roof of the castle also belongs to the onigawara.

And then the nokigawara. It plays a role of draining rain from the roof to the rain gutter. In addition, kamons (emblems used to decorate and identify a family) can be added to this circular part to indicate the belonging of the building.

And then the nokigawara.
It plays a role of draining rain from the roof to the rain gutter. In addition, kamons (emblems used to decorate and identify a family) can be added to this circular part to indicate the belonging of the building.

"How do you think? The knowledge about the roof is unexpectedly abstruse!
Next time, let's learn something about the building under the roof!"

Please click here for the kyouel@MaDeLa's Article

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