The Burakuin hall (豊楽院)

The Burakuin hall is used for entertainments and banquets in the Imperial Court of the palace.


豊楽 is 'toyonoakari' in Japanese pronunciation which means a banquet. As shown in the name, the Burakuin hall was built as a facility for entertainment and banquets at a place immediately west of the Chodoin hall, the main government office of the palace, righty after the capital was moved to Heian-kyo Capital. It was surrounded by walls made of solidified soil on all four sides, with Buraku-mon Gate, the official gate, placed in the south. In addition to Niinamesai (a harvest festival) and Daijosai (a grand thanksgiving festival), new year-celebrating ceremonies, seasonal ceremonies, shooting ceremonies and banquets were held there, with the seat for the emperor placed in the official Burakuden hall when an emperor attended such a ceremony. As the functions of the Imperial Court were gradually moved to Dairi (the emperor's private residence), entertainment and banquets came to be held in the Shishinden (the main hall of Dairi), diminishing the importance of the Burakuden hall. It is said that the hall was almost in ruins, and was never rebuilt after it was destroyed by fire in 1063.

In academic excavations conducted in 1987 to 1988, structural and other remains of the Burakuden hall were found, and the site has been designated as a national historical site, with the remains designated as cultural properties (archaeological materials).

[Original Japanese]