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By William H. Coaldrake

Jap structure is without doubt one of the such a lot encouraged manifestations of eastern civilizations. Arguing that architectural kinds are greater than simply symbols of the powers that created them, William Coaldrake explores the symbiotic courting among structure and authority all through eastern heritage. Exploring key constructions and the way they've been used as energetic conveyors of energy, Coaldrake relates structures to the political objectives and spiritual ideals of the most important old eras in Japan.

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Extra resources for Architecture and Authority in Japan

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Ise Jingu Character of the Site and Buildings 20 The generic term ‘Ise’ or ‘Ise Shrine’ refers to a large institution consisting of numerous shrines and lesser sanctuaries distributed around a narrow, verdant, coastal plain on the east coast of the Kii peninsula in Mie prefecture. The area is blessed by warm sunshine even in mid-winter, and crossed by the fast-flowing Isuzu River. A visitor gazing over the landscape shrouded in the mists of early morning could well be persuaded to believe in the presence of benign deities.

6). 6 Shoden of Outer Shrine, Ise (1985–93 rebuilding) (Courtesy of Ise Jingu) of the buildings arising from deliberate distinctions in authority drawn architecturally between the Inner and Outer Shrines. For example, the Outer Shrine is approached across a sacred bridge but the sentinel torii are little more than half the height of those marking the entry to the Inner Shrine. 7 Approach to sanctuary of Outer Shrine, Ise (1965–73 rebuilding) 26 atmosphere not so awe-inspiring as at the Inner Shrine.

Along with the other provincial centres of early Japan, the leadership of Ise and Izumo sought to broaden the basis of their respective ruling authority by architectonic methods. Authority stemmed from ritual, in which the ruler served as intermediary between the world of gods and the world of human beings. Effective power derived from association with the supernatural, control over craft industries and the organisation of wet-rice agriculture, and from some military force. 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.

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