Japanese Gate Typology (29)

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
  20. Onarimon 
  21. Tansōmon 
  22. Zuijinmon 
  23. Miyukimon 
  24. Agetsuchimon 
  25. Mukai-karamon
  26. Hira-karamon 
  27. Nagayamon 
  28. Ryūgūmon 


Amigasa-mon (編笠門)

This is a type of garden gate, often associated to teahouses. The word amigasa (編笠) means ‘woven’ () ‘bamboo hat’ ().  This is a gate with a roof that is in the form of a traditional bamboo hat.

Here’s a few examples of amigasa:

 These hats are more commonly encountered these days at festival time:

 Samurai also wore a helmet in the amigasa form – here’s an example of a folding variety:

Image from Trad Japan Nipponet.

The common morel, morchella esculenta, in Japan is termed the amigasa-take:

Now we have a good idea as to the form, we can look at a few different gate examples to see how the form is adapted to architecture.

Probably the most famous example is found at Mushakōji-senke (武者小路千家) in Kyoto:

The New Grand Prince Hotel in Tokyo has a garden with a restaurant, and an amigasa-mon:

 A view from the side:

Daitokuji, a very famous Zen temple in Kyoto, has a garden called Kohō-an Tei-en (孤蓬庵庭園) which has a cross-wise example of an amigasa-mon:

An old post card I found online also shows this gate, from the other side:

In the same cross-wise style, the gate at the garden of the Kosetsu Museum of Art (香雪美術館 庭園), which seems to have a fabric roof of some sort:

Here’s a more modern example, serving as a high-class residential entrance:

One last example, this one with a copper shingled roof:

All for today – thanks for dropping by the Carpentry Way! On to post 30.

2 Replies to “Japanese Gate Typology (29)”

  1. I have been enjoying the 'mon' series a lot but I was waiting for you to get to gates like these. Sukiya-zukuri appeals a lot to me personally and I hope we get to see more of this kind of gates in the series. The complex brackets and roof geometry of tempel gates is extremely interesting but these amigasa-mon are esthetically pleasing on a whole other level.

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