Hachiman-zukuri style (八幡造)

The Hachiman-zukuri style is one of the architectural styles of shrines in Japan.

Summary

Hachiman-zukuri, as represented by Usa-jigu Shrine, is a shrine pavilion built by interconnecting 2 buildings back to back.

It can be said that the Gongen-zukuri style, exemplified by Nikko Toshogu Shrine, also derived from the Hachiman-zukuri style.

Structure

Two buildings, a front hall and a rear hall built in the kirizuma-zukuri style (an architectural style with a gabled roof), and hirairi (the entrance to a building built parallel to the ridge of the roof, usually on the long side of the building), respectively, are interconnected back to back with an Ainoma (Middle Room located between Honden main hall and Haiden oratory) in between them.

The front hall is referred to as Exterior Hall, 礼殿, 細殿, 出殿 or 出居殿, whereas the rear hall is referred to as the Interior Hall.

A chair is placed in the anterior hall, whereas a 4-poster platform with drapes is placed in the posterior hall, with both the chair and platform serving as shinza (the seat of the deity). It is said that the god moves to the anterior hall during the day and moves to the posterior hall in the evening.

Roofs

Metal gutters are installed in the valley formed where the eaves of the anterior and posterior halls meet to catch rainwater.

Ridges of gables are decorated with gegyo (decorative wooden boards used to cover the ridge and purlin ends on a roof gable).

Columns

Columns are symmetrical, and there are even numbers of columns on the right and left sides.

Walls

There are double doors at the center of the façade and an additional door on either side of the Ainoma.

Verandas surround the exterior of the buildings.

Floors

The floors of the Ainoma are recessed in accordance with ancient ritual.

Representative Examples of Hachiman-zukuri Style

Usa-jingu Shrine (Oita Prefecture)
Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine (Kyoto Prefecture)