Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bits and Pieces: the Chigi and Katsuokii

Ever wonder what the ornamental crossbeams atop the roofs of shrines were called?  Probably not, but for what it's worth, they are chigi (千木).The beams placed parallel to each other, at right angles to the ridge of the roof, are called katsuoki (鰹木). Both function to strengthen the structure. The great shrine in Shimane prefecture, Izumo Taisha, offers noteworthy examples of the two features.