27th February: Nikko – Rinno-Ji

Rinno-Ji is the oldest Temple in Nikko, dating to 766AD.  Originally called Shihonryu-ji, it was renamed in the seventeenth century. It is said to hold some remarkable treasures, so I was interested to see it.

I wandered around a large warehouse-style building a couple of times before I realised that rather that being a museum, as I had assumed, the building was encasing the original Rinno-ji Temple and this is why there was a depiction of the temple around the doorway to the building.

Inside, there is no access to the inside of the temple and the temple is in a state of reconstruction.  Probably everything is disassembled, repaired and then reassembled.  You can see many of the components of the building laid out systematically in the foreground.  There are no nails, screws or metal bolts visible and this is because traditional Japanese construction does not use them.  Instead there are multiple interlocking mortice-and-tenon type joints.  In one of the near large beams you can see a number of holes for these and if you look closely at some of the other beams you may be able to see a number of the male joints to fit in such holes.

4 comments on “27th February: Nikko – Rinno-Ji

  1. […] 27th February:  Nikko – Rinno-Ji […]

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  2. Raunak says:

    “There are no nails, screws or metal bolts visible and this is because traditional Japanese construction does not use them.”
    good to have learned that today! thanks for sharing 🙂 I love the way they are rebuilding it.

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    • Murray Foote says:

      When I went to Kanazawa Castle, there was a video showing 3D rendition of the technique. The complexity is astonishing. It also has the benefit that it allows more movement in the event of an earthquake.

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      • Raunak says:

        that’s what I thought of when I first read it…the technique allowing movement for earthquake. I think the ancient civilizations understood design better than we do.

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