This lecture is partial introduction to Japanese architecture history as seen through the builder. The lecture, divided primarily by political periods and national laws, will examine the laws regarding builders, the words used to describe them, and the relation these two have with longevity of product, meaning both finished building and traditions associated with the building process. This lecture will focus on structures first built between roughly 600 CE and 1100 CE. Importantly, this does not mean we will focus strictly on the period from 600 to 1100, but will follow the history of three major projects that originate in this time and one that might be older. This will allow us to examine how they rose and fell, sometimes literally, in the time since their construction. These dates were chosen because of the introduction of Chinese codes of laws in the early 7th century, and end with the rise of military power and the collapse of a strong central civil government.
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