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The Building of Horyu-ji

The Building of Horyu-ji

The Technique and Wood that Made It Possible

Nishioka Tsunekazu and Kohara Jiro Translated by Michael Brase

Architecture

Published by JPIC | Hardcover | ISBN 978-4-916055-59-0 | 236 pages | 210mm (h) x 148mm (w) | March 2016

About the Book

Horyu-ji temple was first erected in the 7th century and has come down to us today in the magnificent form it achieved in 711, over 1,300 years ago. It has given the lie to the common misconception that wood is destined to quickly rot and decay, and has demonstrated the enduring value of wood, not to mention the fact that the temple has been designated a World Heritage Site as the earth’s oldest wooden structure.

Here Tsunekazu Nishioka, the master carpenter who undertook the repair of this monumental structure in the mid 20th century, shares the insights and knowledge he gained from that experience. To make Nishioka’s words and observations more easily understood by later generations, Jiro Kohara has buttressed them with scientific experiments and commentary, bringing into sharp view Horyu-ji’s long-concealed mysteries and secrets. The result is a revealing picture of Japan’s immemorial love of trees and wood, a broad-ranging introduction to the country’s wood culture.

About the Author

NISHIOKA Tsunekazu

Born in 1908 in Ikaruga-cho, Nara Prefecture, Japan. For many years Nishioka worked on the repair of Horyu-ji and other temples as a miyadaiku (master carpenter), including the reconstruction of Horin-ji’s three-story pagoda as well as Yakushi-ji’s main hall and west pagoda. He was called the last miyadaiku of the Showa Period (1926-89). He received the Nara Prefecture Culture Award, the Yoshikawa Eiji Culture Prize, the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize, the Jiji Cultural Medal, the Sankei Children’s Book Award, and the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization Prize. The Japanese government awarded him the Order of the Sacred Treasure and the Medal with a Purple Ribbon. He was also designated a possessor of Cultural Assets Selected Conservation Techniques, a person of Cultural Merit, and a honorary citizen of Ikaruga-cho, Nara Prefecture. He passed away in 1995.

KOHARA Jiro

Born in 1916 in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. Graduated from Kyoto University. Received a PhD in Agriculture. After serving as Professor in the Engineering Faculty, Architecture Department, and chair of the Engineering Faculty of Chiba University, he was appointed Professor Emeritus at the same university. He is former Executive Director at Chiba Institute of Technology. He is recipient of the Architectural Institute of Japan Prize, the Architectural Institute of Japan Grand Prize, and the National Land Afforestation Promotion Organization Prize. From the Japanese government he was awarded the Order of the Sacred Treasure and the Medal with Blue Ribbon. He is honorary chair of the Japan Society for Interior Studies, honorary member of the Architectural Institute of Japan, and honorary member of the Japan Ergonomics Society. His field of specialization is ergonomics, the housing industry, and timber engineering. He is the author of numerous books.

内容紹介

600年代に創建し、711年には現在の伽藍が整った法隆寺は、1300年経った今もその美しい姿を伝えている。木は朽ちるものという概念を覆して、木の文化の普遍的な価値を確立し、法隆寺は世界最古の木造建築として世界遺産に登録された。

修復に携わった宮大工西岡常一が、法隆寺建立に使用された木について、鋭い洞察、深い知恵をもって語る。未来に語り伝えるべく木匠の珠玉の言葉に、小原二郎が科学的考察を加え、大伽藍を支えてきた木の秘密、すなわち、日本の木の文化の真髄を明らかにする。

著者紹介

西岡常一

1908年、奈良県斑鳩町生まれ。法隆寺の修復工事など多年にわたり宮大工として修業したのち、法輪寺三重塔の再建、薬師寺金堂および西塔復興の棟梁をつとめる。昭和の最後の宮大工といわれた。奈良県文化賞、吉川英治文化賞、日本建築学会賞、時事文化賞、産経児童出版文化賞、みどりの文化賞受賞。勲四等瑞宝章、紫綬褒章受章。文化財保存技術保持者、文化功労者、奈良県斑鳩町名誉町民。1995年没。

小原二郎

1916年、長野県生まれ。京都大学卒業。農学博士。千葉大学工学部建築学科教授、工学部長を経て、千葉大学名誉教授。千葉工業大学元常任理事。日本建築学会賞、日本建築学会大賞、みどりの文化賞受賞。勲二等瑞宝章、藍綬褒章受章。日本インテリア学会名誉会長、日本建築学会名誉会員、日本人間工学会名誉会員。専攻は人間工学、住宅産業、木材工学。著書多数。

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Original Japanese Version / 原書情報

法隆寺を支えた木

法隆寺を支えた木

西岡 常一、小原 二郎 著

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