Restoration & Maintenance of Suzakumon Gate

About the Restoration & Maintenance

From Rajomon Gate, an entrance to Heijokyo, the 75-meters wide Suzakuoji Street extended straight in a northerly direction. 4km ahead of this street stood the Suzakumon Gate.

In front of Suzakumon Gate, delegates from overseas countries were. Folk gathered there for festivals of dancing and singing feast ofby young men and women (Utagaki). On New Year’s Day, the Emperor appeared at this gate and celebrated the New Year. On both sides of Suzakumon Gate, 6-meters high mud walls with roofs were built to surround the 130-hectares Imperial Palace.

Suzakumon Gate was protected by guards and was usually closed. Its magnificent appearance as the main gate to the palace exhibited the authority of the government inside and outside.

Research for the Restoration of Suzakumon Gate

Research for the restoration of Suzakumon Gate started with excavations at the former site in 1964, and the production of a one-to-ten scale miniature model in 1965.

Research was then conducted into the materials and construction methods for 7 years from 1979, before “The research for the design and structure of Suzakumon Gate in Heijo Palace” was published and carried out for 3 years from 1986.

The reference materials in the directory indicated that the appearance of Suzakumon Gate was limited to the foundations and ground works to indicate the existence of stylobate platforms, columns positioned in proportion, and roof tiles found in the excavation. Utilizing these materials and referring existing ancient architecture and historical documents, the research and restoration continued.Occasionally assumptions were applied based on the knowledge accumulated for more than 100 years since the Meiji period through various cultural architecture restoration projects,