Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Shinmei-zukuri Architecture of Japan

The architecture, Shinmei-zukuri (神明造), of this Japanese temple is 1,300 years old. The temple is the oldest existing timber frame structure in the world. It has been rebuilt every 20 years throughout its history as a part of the Shinto belief of the death and renewal of nature and the impermanence of all things (wabi-sabi). This cycle of renewal has preserved the traditional building techniques from one generation to the next. The shikinen sengu, (shrine hall) is rebuilt in exactly the same way using the same techniques. The old material replaced during rebuilding is sent to other shrines all over Japan for recycling, so there is no waste.


Natural Homes. 2013. “The Shinmei-zukuri Architecture of Japan”. Natural Homes. Posted: August 24, 2013. Available online:

No comments: