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By W. Coaldrake

Jap structure is among the so much encouraged manifestations of eastern civilisation. This learn argues that architectural kinds are greater than simply symbols of the powers that created them. William H. Coaldrake explores the symbiotic dating among structure and authority all through jap historical past, exploring key constructions as lively conveyors of strength, and concerning structures to the political pursuits and non secular ideals of the key ancient eras in Japan.

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Extra resources for Architecture and Authority in Japan (Nissan Institute Routledge Japanese Studies Series)

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Thick moss covers the aged rocks beside the path. In these rocks and trees the native kami or spirits are traditionally thought to dwell. This is a living sanctuary of animistic belief. One hundred metres from the last torii the path snakes around to the south and then back to the north, bringing the visitor to an enclosed compound 100 metres north-south and 60 metres east-west. This is the inner sanctuary itself. The most immediately notable feature of the compound is the way in which it is elevated some 4 to 5 metres above the level of the approach path.

5 The elite of each clan built a hierarchy of status and title, and wove from fact and fiction elaborate mythologies establishing their own divine ancestries. They also used shrines as a setting for demonstrating their power prerogatives. It was the direct patronage of an elite preoccupied by such ambitions which elevated the vernacular forms of the secular storehouse and raised-floor residence to the level of sacred architecture, creating buildings which became the most pervasive icons of Shinto and the most compelling demonstration of their right to rule.

It is a secluded and pleasant land. ’ The account then continues by stating explicitly that ‘in compliance with the instruction of the Great Goddess, a shrine was erected to her in the province of Ise…. 11 It is a deeply seated Japanese belief that the kami select certain places where they will descend to earth, thereby rendering them holy. People come to these sacred sites, generation after generation, to commune with the gods, to make offerings of the harvest of mountain and sea to them, and to give thanks.

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