Kasuga-zukuri style (春日造)

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

Summary

Kasuga-zukuri style, which is typified by Kasuga-taisha Shrine, employs kirizuma-zukuri style (an architectural style with a gabled roof) with a Tsuma-iri (entrance on the gable side) as is the case with taisha-zukuri style as exemplified by Izumo-taisha Shrine; however, its roof is curved toward each side and is also provided at the front, forming a kohai (a roof built over the steps leading up to a temple building (i.e., eaves)). Many shrines of this style are influenced by temple architecture in terms of colors, etc.

Structures

The structure of kasuga-zukuri style employs kirizuma-zukuri style with a Tsuma-iri, and, similar to taisha-zukuri style, elegant curves are provided on the roof.

Roofs

The roofs are not necessarily thatched; there are wide varieties, from kokerabuki (a roof covering made with a layer of thin wooden shingles made of cypress) to hiwadabuki (cypress bark roof).

The hafu (a barge board) on the front is set off in a triangular shape and decorated with a gegyo (decorative wooden board used to cover the ridge and purlin ends on a roof gable). Chigi (ornamental crossbeams on the gable of a Shinto shrine) and Katsuogi (ornamental logs arranged orthogonal to the ridge of a Shinto shrine) are provided for decorative purposes.

The slope of the kohai extending frontward is not steep and forms an elegant curve.

Pillars

The pillars are symmetrical, with an even number of marubashira (circular pillars or posts) provided to each side.

If ketayuki (distance spanned by the longitudinal purlins or plates of the main frame) is approximately 3.6 meters (two pillars), the structure is referred to as ikkensha Kasuga-zukuri style (shrines built to the width of just a single bay at the gable ends), and if ketayuki is approximately 5.5 meters (four pillars), the structure is referred to as sangensha Kasuga-zukuri style (shrines built to the width of three bays at the gable ends).

Walls

A double-door opening is provided at one location, at the center on the front.

Waki-shoji (side-screens) are often provided on the sides.

Floors

The structure has a high floor, giving consideration to air permeability as in the case of taisha-zukuri style.