Irimoya-zukuri style (入母屋造)

The irimoya-zukuri style is one of the traditional East-Asian roof styles. In a broader sense, this term also indicates a building with a roof of this type. It is also simply called irimoya. Though rarely seen in Western countries, roofs of this type are used in temples in Eastern countries, such as Viet Nam, Kingdom of Thailand, India and Indonesia, in addition to China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.

An irimoya style roof is composed of a kirizuma-zukuri style roof in its upper part (which inclines backward and forward when viewed from the longer side of the roof) and a yosemune-zukuri style roof in the lower part (which inclines in each of the four sides of a rectangular house). From ancient times in Japan, kirizuma-style roofs were valued higher than those of yosemune-style, and irimoya -zukuri style roofs, which combined both, were valued as the most esteemed. Its magnificent forms can be seen in castle buildings in various areas of Japan in addition to Shishin-den Hall (hall for state ceremonies) in Kyoto Imperial Place and Daigokuden (Council Hall in the Imperial Palace) in Heian-jingu Shrine.

Typical Irimoya Style Buildings

The hon-do (main hall) of Shinyakushi-ji Temple
The Kon-do (main hall) of Daigo-ji Temple
The Kon-do (main hall) of Ninna-ji Temple
The Kon-do (main hall) of To-ji Temple
Shishin-den Hall in Kyoto Imperial Place

[Original Japanese]