Yokawa-chūdō-hall, located in the Yokawa area of Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple*, is famous for its building in Kake-zukuri like ‘Kiyomizu no Butai’ (the stage of Kiyomizu) of Kiyomizu-dera Temple in Kyoto. Kake-zukuri is a building style which secures the underfloor using long pillars and crosspieces on the place with a large height difference like a cliff, and constructs a building on it.


By the way, why was this chūdō-hall built in such an unstable place? Such a question arose in me.

Then, I investigated the reason, and found that the model of this building was ‘Kentōshi-sen’ (the ship for envoy to Tang China during Nara and Heian periods). Looking at with such knowledge, to me, the ground with height difference looked like the surface of the sea with high waves going up and down, and at the same time, the building seemed to create a ship-like atmosphere floating in the waves of the sea.
Yokawa-chūdō-hall is just an elaborate metaphor, which makes us feel how courageous it was to go abroad to learn at the risk of life. Given immeasurable encouragement, I left the building.

Note:

*Hieizan Enryaku-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tendai sect of Japan located on Mt. Hiei between Kyoto City and Otsu City of Shiga Prefecture, which was opened by Saichō (767-822), a monk in the early Heian period.

比叡山延暦寺


















比叡山延暦寺の横川中堂


比叡山延暦寺の横川エリアにある横川中堂は、京都の清水寺にある「清水の舞台」と同じ懸造(かけづくり)の建物として有名です。懸造とは、崖などの高低差が大きい土地に長い柱や貫で床下を固定し、その上に建物を築く建築様式です。

それにしてもなぜ、こんな不安定な場所に建てたのか。そういった疑問が私の中に湧きました。そこで理由を調べてみたら、この建物のモデルが「遣唐使船」だからと分かりました。そういった目で眺めると、高低差のある土地を、高い波が上下する海面に見立て、波に浮かぶ船の雰囲気を醸し出しているように見えてきます。 


命がけで学びに行くってすごいな、という気持ちにさせる、手の込んだメタファーです。なんだかものすごく大きな勇気をもらって、建物をあとにしました。
 

 

注:

*比叡山延暦寺は、京都市と滋賀県大津市の境にある比叡山に位置する天台宗の総本山の寺院。平安時代初期に僧・最澄(767-822)により開かれた。



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記事更新日:2022/06/27