20.11FPrepare for Corona before the winter
It is said that Houryu-ji is the oldest temple in Japan. There were some open days for structural repairs of the “Touin Raimon” the other day, and I visited.
The “mon” in ‘Raimon’ means gate, but it’s not only a gate. Inside of the structure, there is also a prayer space, and the larger sized architecture reflects its greater hierarchy.
It was also the right timing to observe the finishing of the base-layer of the roof (called “doibuki”), before proceeding to the next step of Kawara-roofing, and that roof base was amazing for me.
“Doibuki” is one method of overlaying thin wood panels like “hiwadabuki” (hinoki wood) and in the picture there, you can see five layers of cedar wood panels and they look precise and attractive.
Usually the roofs of temples are covered (finished) by “kawara” (ceramic material) and those give a stable impression, featuring a heavy, black characteristic shape.
Mostly, the roof has mild concave curvature (sori) in its surface, and an aggressive line at its edge, like a mustache.
It might be better if we know more of the history, but I think there must have been someone who admired the beauty of the roof’s plain shape, and pursued other materials for the finishing layer.