dǒugǒng 枓栱



  • dougong (Pinyin without tones)
  • 枓栱 (Traditional Chinese)2
  • 斗栱 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 斗栱 (Simplified Chinese)
  • dǒugǒng (preferred) (Pinyin)
  • tou-kung (Wade-Giles)
  • blocks(s) and bracket arm(s) (lit.) (English)
  • bracket-block clusters (English)4
  • bracket sets (English)3
  • bracketing (English)1


    Dougong refers to a unit consisting of a number of mortised bearing blocks (dou 斗), arms (gong 栱), tie-beams (fang 枋) and inclined beams (ang 昂). They are often used under the eaves, on beams, or on the tops of pillars.

    The first use of the term dougong as a compound word can be traced to the Sui dynasty translation of the Scripture on the Original Vows of the Medicine Tathāgata (Yaoshi rulai benyuan jing or Bhaiṣajyaguru-nāma-mahāyāna-sūtra) (Dharmagupta trans. 616 CE, T0449:14.0402a22; English title from Muller, et al.): “The city-gate towers, walls and parapets, doors and windows, halls and pavilions, pillars and beams, blocks and bracket arms (dougong 斗拱), surrounding like a net, are all composed of the seven jewels.” After the Sui dynasty, dougong gradually became a set technical term and can be found in a number of different textual sources. The earliest known material evidence for dougong is the dragon-phoenix table-base excavated from the Warring States Period Zhongshan royal necropolis in Pingshan, Hebei province (ca. 310 BCE; Zhong 2010, 113-119). From the Han dynasty onward we have many extant examples of dougong in the visual record.5

    斗栱,又作枓栱,是中國古代建築中最有特點的組成部分,一般來說是指出現在建筑物的檐下、梁架間或柱頭上,由一些斗形構件和一些形構件及木、等組成的一種單元。以枓栱作為名詞指代特定的對象始於代大業十二年(616年)所譯的《藥師如來本願經》,經文中提到 “城闕、垣牆、門窗、堂閣、柱樑、斗栱,周匝羅網,皆七寶成”。(T0449:14.0402a22)之後,逐漸成為固定的術語,普遍見於各類文獻中。目前最早的枓栱形象,一般認為是出土的戰國時期河北平山中山王墓的龍鳳銅案上的枓栱。(ca. 310 BCE; 鍾 2010,113-119)在代以後的遺存中,枓栱形象多見.5

Related concepts

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 2018. ATTCAT 2018Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), 4.11.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 353.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; GUO. 1999. The structure of Chinese timber architectureLink to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 353.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 5 TAKAKUSU. 佛説藥師如來本願經, T0449:14.0402a22.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; MULLER. Scripture on the Original Vows of the Medicine TathāgataLink to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 1983. 《营造法式》注释(上)Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 梁. 1981. 清式營造則例Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 梁. 1936. 建築設計参考圖集:第四集斗栱Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 王. 2007. 中国古建筑术语辞典Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 钟. 2010. 关于斗栱与铺作的一些思考Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: bracketing

How to Cite This Entry

BAI Ying 白穎, “ 枓栱 dǒugǒng” in Architectura Sinica last modified December 3, 2023, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000019.


BAI Ying 白穎, “ 枓栱 dǒugǒng.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 14, 2019. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000019.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 枓栱 dǒugǒng

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • BAI Ying 白穎, entry contributor, “ 枓栱 dǒugǒng

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
  • Initial research and revision by BAI Ying 白穎
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2018
  • Data entry, proofreading and revision by Tracy Miller
  • Proofreading and revision by Aurelia Campbell
  • Adding citations Melanie Lu
  • Revising title statement by SUN Zheng 孫正

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