A Guide to Kyoto’s Wooden and Traditional Architecture
The wooden bracket system, or kumimono (組物), is one of the more distinctive features found in traditional temples and shrines. While functionally they are to take the load of the large roofs and eaves of the structure above, the style in which the bracket system was built evolved over the years as wooden architecture in Japan itself continued to develop.
During a period where Japanese wooden architecture developed independently from continental Asia (when communication stopped for a period of roughly 4 centuries or so), a more domestic style has developed, which was later described as Japanese Style (和様). A common feature of Japanese Style temples are its wooden bracket systems, which have since evolved from the cloud shaped kumohijiki (that was common in Horyu-ji), to a more complex bracket system in which the bracket arms started to extend in both the horizontal and vertical directions.
Daihoon-ji (大報恩寺), the oldest surviving wooden building in Kyoto is built with this Japanese Style. Many distinctive Japanese Style features can be found in the main hall of the temple complex, which many consider to be a more pure and domestic Japanese aesthetic when it comes to traditional religious architecture in Japan.
Even though Suikoushya International Craft School is now up and running in France, our Kyoto workshop will still continue to operate and we want to welcome you when you’re in Kyoto!
Daihoon-ji (大報恩寺), the oldest surviving wooden building in Kyoto is built with this Japanese Style.