Friday, 6 December 2013

Build your own Japanese temple

Tucked away on the Internet Archive is a rather pretty little pdf that seems to give guidelines on how to build a Japanese temple. (It says it's from the year 1200, but I don't know if they had bound books in those days. Wouldn't it have been a scroll?) It mostly seems to concern itself with ratios and measurements. I’m sure it would be more instructive if I could actually read the cursive script next to the illustrations.

But I was especially impressed by the illustration of the torii gate, which shows which angles should be used on the ends of the top cross-beam (or kasagi, according to Wikipedia) and how to make sure they’re correct. Now that I know this, whenever I see one in a photo or film, I find myself checking to see if they’ve got the angles right.

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