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


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.

Anything to add?

error: Content is protected !!
%d bloggers like this: