Wayo Architecture (和様建築)

Wayo Architecture refers to a temple architectural style which had been used in temple architecture in Japan as contrasted with the architectural style (Daibutsu-yo (Buddhist architecture style), Zenshu-yo (Zen-sect-style architecture)) that was introduced from China in the Kamakura period. The name "Wayo" sometimes refers to Wayo Architecture.


The temple architectural style was originally introduced from China, and it was developed in sophisticated manners to suit Japanese tastes in the Kokufu Bunka (Japan's original national culture) period of the Heian period. In large temples, some Buddhist halls were made large, whereas some Buddhist halls were built to create peaceful space with thin columns and with a low ceiling in a home style. After a new style was introduced from China in the Kamakura period, awareness of differences from the existing style was raised, generating the word "Wayo."

In the Medieval period, architectural styles according to the Buddhist sect were categorized such that Zenshu-yo (Zen-sect-style architecture) was used for Temples of the Zen sect and Wayo (some included Setchu-yo (mixed style between the Wayo style's basic plan and the features of the Zen sect style) adopting Great Buddha) was used for esoteric Buddhism temples. Entering the modern period, architectural styles were further blended, and elements of Zenshu-yo were partly adopted in some esoteric Buddhism temples.

Features of Wayo

Hammer nageshi (a horizontal piece of timber) to reinforce the connected upper columns. Place a strut called kaerumata (a strut with legs stretched like those of a frog) between Kumimono (a framework combining a bushel and an ancon to support eaves). Many feature thin columns and a low ceiling. Floors are covered, and a veranda (a narrow wooden passageway along the edge of a house facing the garden) is constructed. kamebara (a squarish bun-shaped mound covered with white plaster) is constructed under the floor.

Representative buildings

Hoo-do Hall (the Phoenix Pavilion) of Byodo-in Temple
Muro-ji Temple five-story pagoda
Taima-dera Temple Hondo (main hall)
Joruri-ji Temple Hondo (main hall)
Kongobuji Temple Fudo-do Hall
Enryaku-ji Temple Konpon-chudo Hall
Fukidera Temple Big Hall
Ichijo-ji Temple three-story pagoda

[Original Japanese]