By Jiren Feng
Investigating the old culture of chinese language architectural writing from antiquity to the 12th century, chinese language structure and Metaphor finds major and engaging social and cultural phenomena within the most crucial basic textual content for the examine of the chinese language development culture. in contrast to prior scholarship, which has reviewed this imperially commissioned architectural handbook mostly as a technical paintings, this quantity considers the Yingzao fashi’s particular literary worth and explores the wealthy cultural implications in and in the back of its technical content.
Utilizing a philological method, the writer will pay specific cognizance to the normal and modern architectural terminology offered within the Yingzao fashi. In reading the semantic that means of the architectural phrases utilized in the guide, he uncovers a scientific architectural metaphor in which bracketing parts are likened to plant life, flowering branches, and foliage: therefore pillars with bracketing above are in comparison to blossoming bushes. extra importantly, this interesting imagery used to be shared by means of diversified social teams, particularly craftsmen and literati, and craftsmen themselves hired literary wisdom in naming architectural parts. concerning those phenomena to the unheard of flourishing of literature, the literati’s better admiration of technical wisdom, and the better highbrow potential of craftsmen in the course of the tune, structure and Metaphor demonstrates how the realized and “unlearned” cultures entangled within the building of architectural wisdom in premodern China. It convincingly indicates that technical language served as a devoted provider of up to date pop culture and aesthetic concepts.
Chinese structure and Metaphor demonstrates a excessive point of engagement with a vast spectrum of subtle chinese language resources. it is going to develop into a vintage paintings for all scholars and students of East Asian architecture.
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Additional resources for Chinese Architecture and Metaphor: Song Culture in the Yingzao Fashi Building Manual
The usual lacquered bench. The dance costumes of Yin . . [were displayed] in the western apartment; the spear of Zhui . . [was displayed] in the 17 18 CHINESE ARCHITECTURE AND METAPHOR eastern apartment. The grand carriage was by the guests’ steps, facing the south. The next carriage was by the eastern steps, facing the south. 10 From this passage, scholars of later generations can be assured about the distinct functions of the two stairs of the hall, the zuojie 阼階 (eastern stair, for the master of the ceremony) and the binjie 賓階 (guests’ stair, located in the west).
In examining traditional technologies of orientation, the YZFS repeatedly cites both this text and the historical commentaries on it,25 in which the word 22 CHINESE ARCHITECTURE AND METAPHOR ding 定 has two meanings: to construct buildings, or the “ding star” that was used together with the North Star to determine south and north. 26 Another work in the Shijing anthology of poetry, entitled “Mian” 綿 (Successiveness), which depicts the growth of the House of Zhou, includes the following lines recounting how Gugong Danfu 古公亶父 (Ancient Duke Danfu) built residences for the Zhou on the plains inhabited by Zhou tribes: 乃召司空、 乃召司徒、 俾立室家。 其繩則直、 縮版以載。 作 廟翼翼。 捄之陾陾、 度之薨薨、 筑之登登、 削屢馮馮。 百堵 皆興…… [He] called his superintendent of public works / [He] called his minister of instruction / And charged [them] with building the houses / With the line [everything was made] straight / The frame boards were bound tight so as to rise regularly / [They] made the ancestral temple in its solemn grandeur / [Crowds] brought the earth in baskets / Threw it with shouts into the frames / [They] beat it with responsive blows / [They] trimmed [the walls] repeatedly, and sounded strong / Five thousand cubits of walls arose together .
The above jiangren yingguo passage is probably the earliest extant text on architectural modules in China. According to this THE HISTORICAL TRADITION OF WRITING ON ARCHITECTURE 33 text, the basic unit of measure for a palace building is the length of a mat covering the ﬂoor of the building. Moreover, a diﬀerent measuring unit is used for diﬀerent architectural spaces: a mat (筵) for a palatial hall, a stool (几) for the interior of a hall, the length of the extended arms of a person (尋) for measuring space within a palace complex, a full pace (two steps, 步) for measuring space in the outer precincts of a palace compound, and the axle length of two vehicle wheels (軌) for streets and roads.