As announced before, a renovation of Kinkakuji temple, or the golden pavilion, started on September 1. The video was shot 5 days later. Actually, the temple is not under construction. It is nearly covered with scaffolds.
The renovation is not a complete overhaul like the one in 1987. This time, the roofs of it will be replaced. As you see, the roofs of the 2nd and 3rd floor are not plated gold. (The 1st floor has no roof.)
The temple tells us that the renovation is to be end in December.
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“Kokera-buki ” method. 杮葺とは？
The roofs of Kinkakuji are built in “Kokera-buki ” method. “Kokera-buki” means “roof constructed with pieces of wood.” This is one of 2 popular method to make roofs of shrines and temples.
In this method, we use thin plate of Japanese cedar, Hinoki cypress usually.
The roof of Kinkakuji is made of Sawara wood.
How to make Kokera-buki roof 杮葺屋根の作り方
- Cut log 12″ in heigt.
- The log looks like ◎. Peel off the outer edge because it doesn’t go with water.
- Cut it as pizza. It is divided into couples of kind of isosceles triangular prisms.
- Slice off the one of 2 side of the same length to make thin sheets (About 0.08″).
- Place these sheets on the roof board, overlapping the adjacent ones, and fix them with bamboo nails.
Take a look at theses photos. It is a model of the roof made of “Hiwada-buki” method. The difference between “Kokera-buki” and it is material. Tree bark or sheet of wood,
For example, the roofs of Kiyomizu-dera temple is made of Hiwadabuki.
Without close inspection, it looks like the same ones.
Kokera-buki and Hiwada-buki 杮葺と檜皮葺
I said Kokera-buki is one of 2 method previously. The other is Hiwada-buki. They resembles each other. Sheet of wood and bark of tree are easily curved. Thanks to this feature, carpenters make elegant line of roof. (Like Ginkakuji temple in the photo.)
The roofs of both method last about a couples of decades. Kokera-buki needs logging though Hiwadabuki doesn’t. (It needs only barking tree. Tree is still alive.) And it is important to reserve woods.
Let me show you an example. The pillars of the stage of Kiyomizu-dera temple are made of Keyaki tree. It doesn’t grow straight as cedar. They are to be replaced about 400 years later. To prepare for the replacement, Kiyomizu-dera temple planted cedars in 2000.
What is Kinkakuji temple? 金閣寺とは？
Rokuon-in, a.k.a. Kinkakuji temple was built by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the 3rd Shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate. After his death, he was given Buddhist name “Rokuon-in.” The temple was named after it.
It was devastated with Ohnin no Ran, the largest civil war in Japan and other misfortunes.
It added to the list of the World Heritage site in 1994.
The golden building is officially called “Shariden.” It means ” a building enshrines the ashes of Gautama Buddha.”
They are enshrined in the 3rd floor.
The 1st floor is called “Hossui-in.” It is built in “Shinden-zukuri.” It is a method found in residences of aristocrats. The statue of Gautama Buddha and Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, the founder of the temple are enshrined.
The 2nd floor is called “Cho-on doh.” It is built in “Buke-zukuri.” It is a method found in residences of Samurai warlords. The statue Kannon and her guardians are enshrined.
The 3rd floor is called “Kukkyo-choh.” It is built in “Zenshu-butsuden-zukuri.” It is a method found in Zen temples. The ashes of Gautama Buddha is enshrined.
We are not allowed to enter Shariden.
On the top of the roof, there is a figurine of “Ho-oh” which brings us good fortune.
The plate on the 3rd floor reads Kukkyo-choh. The Kanji were written by Emperor Gokomatsu (1377-1433).
The statue and the plate are original parts of Kinkakuji
About Kinkakuji temple 金閣寺基本情報
How to get to Kinkakuji? 金閣寺のアクセス
Take Kyoto city bus no.12, 59, 101, 204, 205 and get off at Kinkakuji-michi or Kinkakuji-mae bus stop.