This is a series of posts describing the many varieties of Japanese gate, or mon (門). 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:
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.