East Asian hip-and-gable roof

A hip-and-gable roof

In Eastern Asian architecture, the hip-and-gable roof comprise a hip roof that slopes down on all four sides and integrates a gable on two opposing sides.[1][2] It is usually constructed with two large sloping roof sections in the front and back respectively, while the two sides each are usually constructed with a smaller roof section.[3]

The style is of Chinese origin and has spread across Asia. The original style and similar styles are found in the traditional architecture of Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kalmykia and among others.


It is known as xiēshān (歇山) in Chinese,[4][5] irimoya (入母屋) in Japanese,[2] and paljakjibung (팔작지붕) in Korean.[6]

Irimoya in Japan

It arrived from China in Japan in the 6th century.[2] The style was originally used in the main and lecture halls of a Buddhist temple compound, but started to be used also for the honden at shrines later, during the Japanese Middle Ages.[7] Its gable is usually right above the moya, or core, while the hip covers the hisashi, a veranda-like aisle surrounding the core on one or more sides.[2] It is still in wide use in Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in Japan, but also in palaces, castles, and folk dwellings. In the last case, it is often called moya-zukuri (母屋造).[2]

Kandyan roof of Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, a style known as the Kandyan roof bears many similarities to the original East Asian hip-and-gable roof. The Kandyan roof is primarily used for religious, and historically, royal buildings. It's roots however lie in the traditions of the "Sri Lankan village".[8][9]


  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference chunga23-4 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference sh11-12 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).

See also


  1. Guo, Qinghua (2010). The mingqi pottery buildings of Han Dynasty China, 206 BC-AD 220 : architectural representations and represented architecture. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. p. 138. ISBN 9781845193218.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Irimoya-zukuri". JAANUS: Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Retrieved 2009-05-31.
  3. Deqi, Shan. Chinese vernacular dwellings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 11–12. ISBN 9780521186674.
  4. Chen, Congzhou; Pan, Hongxuan; Lu, Bingjie (2008). Chinese houses : a pictorial tour of China's traditional dwellings. Pleasantville: Reader's Digest Association. p. 331. ISBN 9781606520017.
  5. Chung, Anita (2004). Drawing boundaries : architectural images in Qing China. Honolulu: Univ. of Hawai'i Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 9780824826635.
  6. "Naver Dictionary". Retrieved 2013-03-10.
  7. Iwanami Nihonshi Jiten (岩波日本史辞典), CD-Rom Version. Iwanami Shoten, 1999-2001.
  8. Architecture and Identity, pg 491
  9. Senarat Paranavitana Commemoration Volume

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