Tiles, Roof Tiles


Tiles, Roof Tiles Kawara 瓦 かわら

We have two Daruma tiles on the roof of our Daruma Hall, one on each side.
They were especially made for us from a mold.


From the Daruma Temple Horin-Ji in Kyoto
『だるま寺』こと『洛陽大宝山 法輪寺

© Photograph by NOB


Made from black Seto ceramics  黒瀬戸 Kuroseto

Kikuma Tile Museum and Daruma


. Onipedia - 鬼ペディア - Oni Demons - ABC-List - .

Demon Gable Tiles, onigawara 鬼瓦

Goblin Roof Tiles. "Dämonen-Firstziegel"

Demon Gable Tiles, More photos from Katsuyama

lit. goblin-tile.
The genelic name for decorative roof tyiles found at the ends of a main ridge *oomune 大棟, or descending ridge *kudarimune 降棟. In the Nara and Heian periods they were usually decorated with flower or animal designs, and in theKamakura period with a goblin (oni 鬼) mask.
Usually tile but occasionally made of stone or wood. Swirling or wave patterns found at the bottom right and left of the onigawara are called *hire 鰭.
In the case of temples, shrines and palaces the terms *oni-ita 鬼板 or *hanagawara 花瓦 are sometimes rsed insted of onigawara.
source : JAANUS

source : usk-kyoto.com/blog


On the Road to Izumo
. Mimasaka, Doi Juku 出雲街道 美作市土居宿 .


shachihoko しゃちほこ


- quote -
kawara 瓦 roofing tiles / Lit. tile.
The roofing material made of fired clay introduced to Japan from Korea (Paekche Kingdom, Jp: Kudara 百済) during the 6c along with Buddhism. During the 570s at the time of the reign of Emperor Bidatsu 敏達 (reign, 572-85), the king of Paekche sent six people to Japan skilled in various aspects of Buddhism, including a temple architect. According to the NIHONSHOKI 日本書紀 (Chronicles of Japan) a temple was founded by Prince Ohowake of Naniwa. In 588 more tilemakers and architects were among the specialists sent to Japan. In that year the temple of Houkouji 法興寺 (Asukadera 飛鳥寺), Nara, was begun.

Many of the oldest roof tiles in Japan have been excavated from this site. Tiled roofs were used for temple and government buildings but for the emperors' palaces and dwellings of the nobility, traditional materials such as miscanthus reeds *kayabuki 茅葺 were preferred. In regard to the content of the clay, an interesting statement is found in the ENGISHIKI 延喜式 Takumiryou 木工寮 Sakuga (Tile Making and Woodworking Styles in the Engi period; a 10c Japanese document) which states that after the middle of the 8c, it was common practice to mix 24 kilograms of clay with 10 litres of sand. This mixture, it goes on to say, is easier to shape and allows less shrinkage when fired than the higher quality clay used previously.

There are two known techniques for manufacturing clay roof tiles. One is the Cylindrical Mold Method, which until recently was used in Okinawa and Korea. The other one is the Curved Mold Method has been used in Japan (except Okinawa) since the middle of the 7c. With the former method, well kneaded clay is firmly packed into a trapezoidal pile. Sticks are set on each side at a fixed distance from the top, and with a tool like a large cheese cutter, a slice is removed from the surface. This is repeated again and again depending upon the desired number of tiles. A wooden cylinder is placed on a turning plate, a tool like a slow potter's wheel, and the cylinder is then covered with cloth made of banana fiber (in Okinawa) or hemp or ramie (in Korea). At the top and bottom of the cloth is a string used for removing the finished tile from the form and then for removing the cloth from the clay. As can be seen the slice of clay has been pressed around the cylinder and smoothed and shaped as the plate revolved.

When the tile is finished and removed from the cylinder, it is allowed to dry for a day or two. Especially notice are two sticks protruding from the top of the wooden cylinder. These may number two or four depending upon how many pieces the tile will be divided into. Where the stick is inserted, the clay is thin, and after it has dried out it can be tapped lightly to sever it into the required number of pieces. If the cylinder is divided into two, it will form round roof tiles; if it is separated into four parts, these will become flat roof tiles. It shows clay on cylinders. Notice that one clay circular form is inverted and another placed on top to dry.

The second method, the Curved Mold Technique, used in Japan proper, depends upon individual molds already in the shape of the desired tile. It shows a mold for a circular tile. Most roof tiles were fired once and used immediately afterward. However, some glazed tiles have been found at palace sites, for example, at the 8c Japanese capital of Heijoukyou 平城京 in Nara and the 9c to 12c site of Heiankyou 平安京 in Kyoto. Not enough glazed tile has been recovered to be convinced that entire roofs were made of this. Mainly ornamental plates have been recovered, which would seem to indicate that perhaps the glazed tiles were placed only at the edges. Some of the earliest tiles studied seem to show traces of red ochre, black and some white, which appears to be some sort of lime or chalk, rather than paint.
- source : JAANUS-


yaneya 屋根屋 roof maker

source : edoichiba.jp..yanesi..

kawaraya 瓦屋 瓦師, roof tile maker

The roof maker works with a helper called temoto 手元.
The place below the roof tiles is first covered with mud/clay, then the tiles are fixed with nails. The overseer has to make sure the roof gets the right shape.

. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

- quote -
yane 屋根 - Also called okugai 屋蓋, lit. roof covering.
A generic term for various types of roofs, roof styles, and roofing. See *yane kouzou 屋根構造 for roof structure.
The major types of roofs are gable *kirizuma-zukuri 切妻造, hipped yosemune-zukuri 寄棟造, hip-and-gable *irimoya-zukuri 入母屋造, and pyramidal roofs *hougyou-zukuri 宝形造, including hatchuu 八注, a roof over an 8-sided building *hakkakudou 八角堂, and rokuchuu 六注, a roof over a six-sided structure *rokkaku endou 六角円堂.

The contours of the roofs vary and are not governed by the type of roof. There are four basic contours:
1 *chokusen yane 直線屋根 a roof with simple straight planes as at Sumiyoshi Taisha 住吉大社 (1596-1615) in Osaka;
2 teriyane 照り屋根, also called soriyane 反屋根, a roof that descends from the ridge to the eave ends with either gentle or strong. Kairyuuouji Saikondou 海竜王寺西金堂 in Nara, Ankokuji Kyouzou 安国寺経蔵 in Gifu prefecture.
3 the formes shows gentle curving and the lather strong upward curves *mukuriyane 起り屋根, a roof that has a convex curve that slopes upward from eave ends *nokisaki 軒先, to the ridge *munagi 棟木, the uppermost roof of the pavilion called Hiunkaku 飛雲閣 at Nishihonganji 西本願寺 (late 16c) in Kyoto;
4 terimukuri yane 照り起り屋根, a roof with a convex curve in the upper part of the roof, as for example, the roof of the *karahafu 唐破風, gable at the front of the Tsukubusuma Shrine's main sanctuary, Tsukubusuma Jinja Honden 都久夫須麻神社本殿 (1602) in Shiga prefecture. *Shikorobuki 錣葺 is a very rare type of roof type.
Its contours resemble a the hip-and-gable type roof, but the gable and hips are separate, without a continuous flow from the ridge to the eaves. Instead, the part that extends from the ridge to the base of the gable ends and the hips are connected beneath the gable ends and continue to the eave ends. Thus there is a very clear break between the two parts of the roof.
Examples include the Tamamushi miniature shrine *Tamamushi no zushi 玉虫厨子 (mid-7c) owned by Houryuuji 法隆寺, and Toudaiji Nenbutsudou 東大寺念仏堂 (1238), both in Nara.

The Byoudouin *Hououdou 平等院鳳凰堂 Byodo-In (1053) in Kyoto, exemplifies the combination of roof types with a variety of contours. By the 15c and 16c., new combinations of roofs had evolved. Building roofs from this era combined many parts and had many ridges such as *gongen-zukuri 権現造, exemplified by Oosaki Hachiman Shaden 大崎八幡社殿 (1607) in Miyagi prefecture. Roofs of this type use tiles *kawara 瓦, cypress bark *hiwadabuki 桧皮葺, shingles *kokerabuki 柿葺, various types grass, kusabuki 草葺, including cogon grass *kayabuki 茅葺, straw of wheat or rice warabuki 藁葺.
- source : JAANUS -

. Fukiyachoo 葺屋町 Fukiyacho District of roof thatchers .


.................. H A I K U

Matsuo Basho visited Todaiji in the year Genroku 2 in december,

. yuki kanashi itsu Daibutsu no kawarabuki .

Kannon no iraka miyaritsu hana no kumo
Kannon Temple in Asakusa - see comments below - iraka - roof tiles

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


atsuki hi ya nirami-kura suru onigawara

such a hot day -
I have a staring contest
with this goblin tile

atsuki yo o nirami-aitari onigawara

in this hot night
I have a staring contest
with a goblin tile

Kobayashi Issa


Katoo 瓦灯, the Ceramic Lamp

kaze samushi samushi samushi to gwatô kana

Tr. David Lanoue

... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ...

circular antefixes (*gatou 瓦当) on semi-cylindrical eave-end tiles
 © JAANUS : (gatou 瓦当)


Onigawara 鬼瓦
Literally “Demon Tile” or “Goblin Tile”
Also known as Oni-ita 鬼板 or Hanagawara 花瓦
source : - Mark Schumacher -

Shachi 鯱 or Shachihoko 鯱鉾

Literally “Killer Whale”
source : - Mark Schumacher -


Kooshuu 甲州鬼面瓦 -
Onigawara from Koshu, Yamanashi

made by Yanagimoto Isao 柳本伊佐雄
- source : www.kagamisan.com

. Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja .


source : ilaca.net/ilaca/news

Kawara Craft Studio


juunoogawara 十能瓦 Juno Kawara, in form of a fire pan
"fire shovel tile"

juunoo 十能 fire shovel, fire pan
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


. Tengupedia - 天狗ペディア - Tengu ABC-List.

天狗面文鬼瓦 Roof tiles with Tengu faces

source : tamasho.okayama-c.ed.jp
羽黒神社 Haguro Jinja, Okayama

source : 日本の珍しい鬼瓦

source : twitter.com/hideki27fc5
古峯神社 Komine Jinja / Furumine Jinja, Tochigi

- photo from pinterest -

- Tengu photos by Yukio on facebook -

- CLICK for more photos ! -


. komainu 狛犬 / 高麗犬 / 胡麻犬 "Korean Dog" .

source : “狛犬の鬼瓦 1”
照蓮寺 Shoren-Ji, Takehara, Hiroshima

- Komainu photos by Yukio on facebook -

source : Masami on facebook

- CLICK for more photos ! -


. Dragon Roof Tiles and gatoo 瓦当 end tiles .

. Gable, gables 破風 hafu .
karahafu, kara hafu, kara-hafu 唐破風 "Chinese Gable"

. Tile Dolls 瓦人形 kawara ningyoo .

- #kawara #onigawara -


Unknown said...

瓦当について貴重な資料有難うございました。everyday Issaで引用させて頂きます。


Gabi Greve said...

Thank you so much, Sakuo san !


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

iraka - roof tiles

Matsuo Basho

Kannon no iraka miyaritsu hana no kumo

Kannon Temple:
looking off at its tiled roof
in clouds of blossoms

Tr. Barnhill

Written in 1686 - 貞亨3年.
According to Kikaku, Basho wrote this when he was ill in Bed in Fukagawa.
It seems he could see the roof of Asakusa Kannon temple from his home, which is about 3.5 km away.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

kawaraban 瓦版 Edo newspaper, handbill, broadside
kawaraban uri かわら版売り vendor of a kawaraban
news broadsheet, lit. "tile-block printing"
yomiuri 読売、lit. "to read and sell"

Roof Tile Friend said...

toribusuma 鳥衾  
Also written 鳥伏間.
Also called toriyasumi 鳥休: bird rest or suzumegawara 雀瓦.
A cylindrical bird perch tile which has a strong upward curve and is placed on top of an ogre tile *onigawara 鬼瓦. They are placed at the ends of a main ridge *oomune 大棟, on corner ridges sumimune 隅棟 or on descending ridges *kudarimune 降棟. One is also placed on *chigomune 稚児棟, offspring ridge, the shorter and outer-end ridge when the corner ridge is divided in two by a long corner ridge *sumikudarimune 隅降棟.

Toribusuma have a decorative pendant tile *gatou 瓦当 at the front end. The upper surface has minimal to exaggerated curves. The under side that reaches from the pendant tile inward is called a chin, ago 顎. Toribusuma were short in the early periods, but from the 15c the length and upward curvature increased radically.


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

onigawara with a pentagram
said to be the only one in Japan.
at temple 妙心寺 Myoshin-Ji, Kyoto. To protect the whole town from evil influence.
Abe no Seimei and the pentagram

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

kahaku, kawa no kami 河伯 River Deity, "river chief"
originally a Chinese river deity with a demon-like face.
Sometimes his face is part of a "demon tile" onigawara 鬼瓦 to protect a building from fire.
In Japan, another name for the water goblin Kappa

Gabi Greve said...

collection by Jake Ojisan

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Yanegami 屋根神 Deity on the Roof

A small shrine on the roof, mostly of a merchant, to protect the estage and the shop.


Gabi Greve said...

日本の鬼の交流博物館(にほんのおにのこうりゅうはくぶつかん)は、京都府福知山市(旧加佐郡大江町)の大江山麓にある鬼伝説をテーマとする博物館。 * 「鬼とは何者かをさぐる」* 「大江山の3つの鬼伝説紹介」 * 「日本における鬼瓦の推移を見る」など
a great collection of onigawara

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from the Atago district in Minato, Tokyo
onigawara 鬼瓦 demon roof tiles
At 天徳寺 temple Tentoku-Ji in 愛宕下 Atago-shita there is a demon roof tile with a tokin 兜巾(ときん)Buddhist hood.
Once upon a time, there was a fire and the sparks seemed to set the roof in flames. From this roof tile water begun to spray and the fire was extinguished.

Gabi Greve said...

Tentokuji 天徳寺 Tentoku-Ji - Toranomon
光明山 Komyozen 和合院 Wago-In