Architectural details of the Sapporo Japan temple

Architectural details of the Sapporo Japan temple


-Architectural Details of the Sapporo Japan Temple- The new Sapporo Japan temple is one
of the more culturally unique temples built by the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The temple beautifully incorporates Japanese
architecture with numerous motifs and symbols that not only convey Japanese history and
culture, but help connote a sacred setting. -Temple Exterior-
To give the exterior a uniquely Japanese feel, the architects used a very similar design to the Tokyo capital building,
called the Diet building. Both buildings have a single large
stepped tower in the center, with four smaller towers,
one on each corner of the larger tower. Both buildings include in the center tower
three rows of five windows, the top row being
the smallest set of windows. The temple also includes roof eve
corners that are slightly turned up, typical of Japanese traditional architecture. -Japanese Interior Design-
Before taking a look at the inside of the temple, it will be helpful to learn a little bit about traditional Japanese interior design. First, unlike western design,
Japanese inner space divisions are fluid, and the room size can be modified
through the use of screens or movable paper walls. These partitions generally
are made of wooden frames in a lattice pattern covered with opaque paper. Wooden transoms above the
doors are also typically added to increase airflow and light in between rooms. In more important rooms, ceilings are not
flat, but instead decorated with wooden beams, paintings, or coffered ceilings. The interior of the new Sapporo Japan temple
has incorporated, to at least some degree, all of these design aspects
throughout the entire temple. -Woodwork-
One of the first, uniquely Japanese design features is the use of latticework,
transoms, and coffered ceilings. Though most of the walls in the temple are
stationary, the woodwork seeks to replicate the feel of the traditional movable paper
walls and sliding doors. For example, in the first instruction room,
the doorways are designed with intricate latticework, to imitate the feel of the
traditional shoji sliding doors. Above the doorways are included beautifully
carved wooden transoms, again typical of Japanese design. In most other temples of the church,
the doorway leading from the Terrestrial room to the Celestial room is separated by a large curtain. However, in the Sapporo Japan temple, this
doorway instead uses a unique sliding latticework door covered with an opaque material, reminiscent
of the paper doors so common to Japan. This doorway also includes
metal transoms around the opening, giving this movable wall,
a uniquely Japanese feel. In addition to the doorways, the chairs,
recommend desk, chapel woodwork, altars, and stained-glass windows seek to replicate
similar latticework motifs. The baptistry also uses these same designs
on the stonework on the font and within the woodwork of the walls and doors. As an interesting side note, the design of
the latticework on the altar in both instruction rooms, is partially replicated within the
sides of the chairs, perhaps suggesting to those sitting, that they are at
least symbolically at the altar. The temple also integrates the Japanese design
of coffered and wood beam ceilings, including in the large dome above the baptistry, in the ceiling of both the
first and second instruction rooms in the sealing rooms, and in the beautiful
woodwork of the celestial room dome. -Patterns and Motifs-
Several traditional Japanese patterns or motifs are used throughout the temple. One of the most popular Japanese symbols,
the seigaiha or wave pattern, is used on the exterior stonework. Another wave pattern depicts a central circle
with emanating waves, and can be located on the exterior stonework as well as on the ceilings
of the celestial and sealing rooms. The wave, in Japanese culture,
symbolizes power and resilience, both attributes that can be obtained through making and keeping temple covenants. In addition, a cloud pattern can be found
as part of the wallpaper design in the instruction room,
and in the Celestial room ceiling dome. Two, very popular Japanese
traditional patterns used in the temple are the asanoha and shippo pattern. Both patterns are used in the beautiful frosted
stained-glass windows of the temple. The shippo pattern is also incorporated into
the wood paneling on and around the doors, on the recommend desk, the chapel pulpit, within the carpet design in both instruction rooms, and in the stencil work in various rooms. The lilac flower, also found throughout the
temple, is very popular in Sapporo, in part because of the highly
anticipated annual lilac festival. The lilac flower can be located everywhere
from the baptistry font railing, to the instruction room woodwork. The lilac is also incorporated within a circle
and square motif, as seen in the sealing rooms and in the celestial room woodwork. This motif is reminiscent of Japanese family
crests, or mon, which were used to decorate and identify an individual or family. The chandeliers of the sealing rooms and of
the Celestial room, and the center table of the Celestial room also incorporate a merged
circle and square design. The circle can represent eternity, and the
square the earth, or the four corners of the earth, thus symbolically representing how
heaven and earth combine within the walls of the temple. The temple also includes several traditional
plants within the carpet and interior design, including bamboo leafs in the
entry and waiting area carpet, and beautiful blossoms
in the bride’s dressing room. The first instruction room also incorporates
the common gingko leaf in the fabric of the seats. -Japanese Gardens-
Perhaps, one of the most unique aspects of the Sapporo Japan temple is the use of the very traditional Japanese raked stone garden. These stone gardens can be found outside the
temple in the beautiful gardens, and also in the main waiting area
beneath the grand staircase. These gardens are designed to imitate the
intimate essence of nature through the placement of large protruding rocks
in a bed of raked white gravel. The large rocks generally represent islands
or mountains, while the sand, raked in wavelike patterns emanating from the larger stones,
represent the ocean waves. Japanese styled gardens were first incorporated
into ancient Japanese Buddhist temples, for the purpose of helping the temple
monks to receive enlightenment through contemplation, and through the delicate time consuming work of raking the gardens. -Progression-
As part of the endowment ceremony, participants learn about the plan of salvation, and how to return back to the presence of God through the atonement of Jesus Christ. Much of the design in the instruction rooms
symbolically convey the concept of moving from an earthly existence to that of heaven. When you begin the endowment, you start in
the first instruction room, which depicts creation through several beautiful
murals around the room. These murals are very reminiscent of plants
and traditional gardens common in the Sapporo area. The front corner mural interestingly includes
a depiction of the well known Ezo no Fuji mountain. As you move from this first instruction room,
to the second, and on into the Celestial room,
the ceiling height, size of the room, amount of light, and ornate woodwork
increases with each new room. Again, this design aspect is
to show our symbolic progress moving back into the presence of God. Of particular interest, in the Celestial room,
is the two murals of pine trees. In Japan, the pine tree is one of the most
popular trees, and represents steadfastness, long life, and happiness, an appropriate image
found within the Celestial room. In addition, the design of the temple, as
seen from above, with the Celestial room under the center tower, also conveys the concept
of the sacred center between the four corners of the earth, a common design among Asian
temples. -Traditional Vases-
As a final note, several beautiful traditional style vases can be found throughout the temple, including two particularly elegant
vases in the Celestial room, a vase style popular in Japan
originating from the Tang dynasty in China. The new Sapporo Japan temple is a beautiful
edifice, that elegantly reflects the culture and history of the nation of Japan. This sacred house of the Lord, will be a place
where the saints will be able to come closer to their Lord and Master, even Jesus Christ,
on their journey heavenward, back to the presence of God.


16 thoughts on “Architectural details of the Sapporo Japan temple

  1. Wow, I'm amazed by the amount of detail that was put into this Temple. It's so beautiful. Good work on this video! What Temple will you do next in this series?

  2. Thanks this is amazing. I love how traditional Japaneese symbols were used to convey the doctrine taught in the temple.

  3. Great video. I'm so impressed that the Church builds temples that respect the native culture of its geographical location. They don't just built a temple in Japan looking like one built in Utah. There's incredible thought and research into designing an appropriate building that respects culture.

  4. I loved this video. It is my favorite so far. It is great to hear how the local cultural elements reinforce sacred spaces. I liked the narrator too, but was concerned to hear him use popular pronunciation for Mountain [ mou-en ], Improtant [ impor-ent ] and Enlightenment [ enli-enment ].

  5. 真實的福音加上優秀的民族打造出精益求精的建築物!這是世上的寶物反映本日文化的俊美細緻同時亦表達了天國的奥秘。

  6. Wow! What a beautiful designed temple! Impressive! Japan has three temples and we have only two temples in the Philippines – Manila and Cebu.

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