Guidance of the main hall of Moshunzan Houjou-ji Temple


Guidance of the main hall of Moshunzan Houjou-ji Temple


  1. Home
  2. Guidance of main hall

Houjouji Temple is a temple of the Soto Zen sect.
The main hall is built based on an architectural style known as Zen Buddhism (Chinese style).

Houjouji Temple is, as you know, the temple of the Soto Zen sect. Therefore, the new main hall is built based on the architectural style known as Zen Sect style (Chinese style).Zen sect architecture was imported by monks who traveled to China during the Kamakura period, at the same time as Zen Sect religion was transmitted to Japan. The Buddhist monks who worked on raising the teaching style of Zen Sect were committed to importing Zen-style architecture as well as protecting the manners and rituals of Zen-style of Sou.Along with the pre-Kamakura style of architecture (Japanese style), it is now the mainstream of two Japanese architectural styles. On the way back, Dogen Zenji who opened Eiheiji Temple also returned with his master craftsman of Sou, Genseishi, and there remains a story that he was in charge of repairing the temple gate in front of the Eiji Temple gate.

Features of Zen architecture


In principle, it is built on a foundation of masonry, and there are more low masonry and rough masonry compared to the high platform in Asuka and Nara Period.

Foundation stone

It is characterized by inserting a soroban ball (abacus ball type) called a foundation between the foundation stone and the pillar.


In principle, a cylindrical column is attached to the upper and lower sides of a curvilinear slender called chimaki.


The shaft part is constructed through many nuki (penetrating tie beam), such as ground (Jinuki), Koshinuki (inside), Ino Norishiki (inside), Hiunuki (inside), Hinouki (inside), and Hashinuki (headless).

Tokiyou (square bearing block)

Togata is a wooden box, Kyo is an elbow tree (hijiki), and it was combined things to support pillars. Between the assembly on the column and another assembly, we call it a stuffing and the same one as the assembly on the column is incorporated into a set or number depending on the column spacing. It is characterized in that the arrangement of the structure and the set are closely arranged.


The warpage of the eaves is generally strong and the rafters are delicate. The arrangement of rafters is arranged radially from the center of the building to four sides and is called an ootaruki (big rafters).


The part of the main house is called a mirrored ceiling (Kagamitenjo), and without drawing a border or a rim, use a ceiling with a flat plate with a flat surface, and draw a dragon with sumi painting, etc.
The mirror ceiling of Houjouji Temple was drawn by Outei Haruki artist living in Ichikawa City.

Kibana (architrave)

It is attached to the part which came out beyond the pillar of the horizontal timber in the sense of wood end (kibana). On the side is a picture of swirling arabesque and so on are engraved. It is not used for Japanese style architecture.


The window is called a flower-head window (katoumado), and the renji (vertical or horizontal wooden laths or bamboo) is placed vertically in an arc-shaped window frame with an arc-shaped thorn curve,and build in Akarishoji (paper screen door for admitting light) inside.
The door is made by using a crosspiece horizontally and vertically, with a mirror plate (inside) placed in between. The upper part of the door is often fitted with a grid and a lattice instead of a mirror plate. It is characterized by putting a curvilinear board link called a wave-shaped inter-column (Namigara-ranma), a standing-up column (Tachiwa-ki-ranma) and a bow-column inter-section (Yumiranma).

Bridge beam

It is a kind of beam and works to receive the load of the roof and ceiling, and to connect omoya (main building) and hisashi (eaves). It is characterized by the fact that the Zen sect style bridge beams have a shakuri in the form of a bow in the lower part of the curve, or a shakujoubori in the center of the bottom when looking up from below.
Also, in order to connect places where there is a difference in elevation, a curved bridge beam called Ebikoryou is used. On top of the bridge beam, a bundle called Taiheiduka (a large bundle) is used to receive the upper load.

In general, without being subjected to the coloring, show the basic material as it is.

Reference materials
"Zen no kenchiku (Architecture of Zen)" Hideya Yokoyama, 1967, Shokokusha.
"Detailed design of old architecture" Yutaka Kondo, 1984, Okawa Publishing
"Temple architecture" Masashi Hamashima, 2000 Yamakawa Publishing
"A must-see for visiting temples, shrines and houses" Kenji Shimomura, 200, Corona company.

Guidance in the main hall

Matsuga (pine tree picture) inherited from the former main hall
The Buddhist name tablets of former Owari Inuyama castellans
The Buddhist name tablets of the congregation of ancestral family members