Features of Inudono

Among the various styles of temple and shrine architecture, Inudono is based particularly on Zenshūyō (Zen Buddhist style). This is an architectural style that came to Japan from China with Zen Buddhism during the Kamakura period (1185-1333). Famous buildings that were built in the Zen Buddhist style include the Shariden of Engakuji Temple in Kamakura, the Jizōdō of Shōfukuji Temple in Higashimurayama City, Tokyo, and the Kaizandō of Eihōji Temple in Tajimi City, Gifu Prefecture.
Zenshu-yo Features of Inudono

Kidan (Base)
and Shihanjiki (Diamond Paving)

One of the typical bases seen in Zen-style temples is a floor known as a shihanjiki, featuring diamond-shaped floor tiles, surrounded by kazuraishi edging stones. For the Inudono the shihanjiki pattern is set out in black granite, with white granite used for the kazuraishi edging stones.

Soban (pillar footing) and
Chimaki (rounded pillar ends)

The pillars in Zen-style temples are not built directly on the foundation stone, but rather on top of a base that looks something like a traditional abacus bead in shape, and is known as a soban (pillar footing). Examples of both stone and wooden soban can be found in temples today, and for Inudono Japanese zelkova wood has been used. Another feature of Zen-style architecture is that the tops and bottoms of the round pillars are slightly narrowed and rounded down, a technique that is known as chimaki. The round pillars start off as a square-shaped piece of timber with is gradually planed down to become first an octagon, then a 16-sided hexadecagon, before being smoothed down using a curved plane.

Katōwaku (flower head frame)

A katō is a carved representation of a lotus flower’s petals. Many such katōwaku motifs feature in the window frames of Zen-style temples. The particular style of the flower head is indicative of the period in which it was created, and for Inudono a style used in the medieval period was referenced.

Kobushibana (fist nosing) and daiwa (flat beam)

The kashiranuki (horizontal tie beams) connect the tops of the pillars together and the tips of these beams that protrude from the pillars at each corner are known as kibana (nosings). There are various forms and types of kibana, and on the Inudono we have used a type known as kobushibana (lit. “fist nosing”). Also, the pillars and the kashiranuki beams are topped with flat beams known as daiwa. All these features are typical of the Zen style.

Tsumegumi (intermediate brackets)

Above the daiwa beam the masu (bearing blocks) and hijiki (bracket arms) are arranged in bracket complexes known as masukumi. These bracket complexes are installed right above the pillars and fulfil the role of transferring the load of the upper part of the building to the pillars. In the Zen style additional bracket complexes are also included between the pillars. These are referred to as tsumegumi (intermediate brackets) and are used in the Inudono.

Noki (eaves)

The eaves of the Inudono are referred to as hitonoki (single eaves), a simple design featuring a single tier of rafters. In the Zen style rafters are often arranged in a fan-like shape, but on the Inudono the imposing rafters are placed in a parallel arrangement that accentuates their beauty.

Nokizuke (eave ends)

The parts of the eaves that are in contact with the roof materials are referred to as nokizuke (eave ends). Usually when a copper plate tiled roof is used, the eave ends are also made out of copper plating, but on the Inudono we have used a quadruple-layered wooden slats. The thickness of the eave ends gradually increases from the center of the eaves to the corners, in a style that expresses strength and stability. This aspect of the construction is the most challenging part of the design for the carpenters.

Copper plate roofing

Copper plate roofing came into use in temple and shrine construction during the Edo period (1603-1868). The copper plate tiles of the Inudono are attached using a method known as ichimonji roofing. Just like the hiwadabuki and kokerabuki styles in which cypress barks and shingles are used, with the ichimonji method it is possible to form delicate curved surfaces. In standard ichimonji roofing, the fukiashi, or the part of each tile that is visible when laid, is around 150mm, following the flow of the tiles. However, as the Inudono is smaller in scale, the visible part of each tile has been specially changed to 30mm, making it possible to successfully create a delicately curved surface. In order to maintain the delicate proportions, copper plates of a thickness of 0.2mm, which is thinner than usual, have been used. However, even after making adjustments to the thickness of the plates, the standard attachment method of hooking a tile seam joint to a clip hammered into the underlay does not result in a sufficiently graceful curve. To resolve this challenge, the entire roof surface is covered with copper sheeting as a base underlay, on top of which the copper plate tiles are soldered one by one with only the lower side folded over, which results in the beautiful roof you see on the Inudono.

Tsumakazari (embellished gable pediments) and oniita (roof ridge-end board)

At the intersection of the hafuita (gable end boards) a small gable pendant known as a gegyo, a name derived from the word for “fish” is fixed in place. The Inudono features a kaburagegyo, or turnip gable pendant, which is characteristic of the Zen style. On the gable wall behind the gegyo gable pendant is a taiheizuka (large bottle strut), which is another typical features of the Zen style. The oniita (roof ridge-end boards) on either end of the ridge have also been designed with reference to Zen-style temples of the medieval period.


The hengaku are written from right to left in accordance with ancient Japanese writing, so the order is reversed.
This hengaku was drawn by the calligrapher Hekiho Fujii. Although the hengaku is small, it has the same engraving as a real hengaku, using the hoteibori style for the inscription, and the yagenbori style for the signature.

Inudono Specifications

Inudono is designed to be large enough to accommodate medium-sized dogs such as Shiba Inu.


Main Wood Parts :

Hinoki cypress, zelkova (pillar bases)

Roof :

0.2mm thick drawn copper plate

Foundation :

Granite (black and white)



1,091mm wide, 1,000mm long

Distance between pillars :

636mm wide, 545mm long (center to center)

Roof :

1,225mm wide, 1,134mm long

Height :

1,191mm (bottom of foundation to ridge peak)
Foundation height 121mm

Doorway :

W 394mm, H 410mm

Transportation and Setup of Inudono

Inudono can be taken apart and transported, with the building part disassembling into the roof and frame, and the foundation disassembling into the wooden base and nine stone parts.
However, disassembly and assembly require at least three people, and also requires work by a carpenter.

Ordersandproduction of Inudono

Inuden is completely made-to-order. We will only accept orders from those who can treat it carefully.
From the stage when the order is completed, we will collect the materials and start manufacturing. The dog hall is carefully handmade one by one by a shrine carpenter or a coppersmith. Miya carpenters and coppersmiths build and repair the temples and shrines while building the dog hall, so only one building can be built each year.

Precautions for use

The roof of the dog hall is also waterproof, but if it is exposed to direct sunlight outside, the copper plate will become hot, so there is a risk of burns if you touch it. Use only indoors. In addition, there are sharp parts such as the tip of the roof and the thorns of the flower head frame, so please use with caution.

Also, since wood is bare wood, it gets dirty when it gets dirty. If you touch the copper plate directly with your hands, the color will change due to the oil. If you want to keep it in a beautiful state, please handle it with care.

The copper plate loses its brilliance over time and turns brown. It will turn greenish blue over a long period of time. It will take a long time to become greenish blue.