dīngtóugǒng 丁頭栱



  • dingtougong (Pinyin without tones)3
  • 丁頭栱 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 丁头栱 (Simplified Chinese)
  • dīngtóugǒng (Pinyin)1
  • ting-t'ou-kung (Wade-Giles)
  • T-shaped half-bracket (English)2
  • inserted bracket-arm (English)4


    The term dingtougong 丁頭栱, literally meaning T-shaped (half) bracket arm, is only found in the Yingzao fashi (1103). In this text, dingtougong is categorized as a type of huagong 華栱 (blossoming bracket arm) measuring half the length of a standard huagong, which is inserted into a pillar or a bracket cluster. If it is inserted into a corner of the interior of a building, it can be called xiaxugong 蝦須栱 (lit. “shrimp antenna bracket arm” YZFS 4.3a). As a type of huagong, dingtougong functions as a corbel, projecting outward to support the components above it (Xu and Guo, 1984, 114). 5

    Scholars have sometimes referred to any half bracket-arms, including those inserted directly into beams, as dingotugong. However, in recent years, some scholars have raised objections to this generalized use of the term and believe that, following the Yingzao fashi, only the half-huagong used to support the beams and pillars under the zhaqian 劄牽 and rufu 乳栿 should be called dingtougong (Lin, 2018, see figure). Based on the broader understanding of dingtougong, it is believed that there are many existing examples, which are found mostly in the Yangzi delta and Fujian province. 6

    Architectural historians have worked to classify different types of dingtougong (Xu and Guo, 1984, 8; Tang, 2012). Many believe that the dingtougong in the Yingzao fashi show southern Chinese regional characteristics, especially from the Yangzi delta area. Because dingtougong is a common component used in the outer eaves of vernacular chuandou 穿斗 style architecture in southern China, some scholars suggest that the appearance of dingtougong in the Yingzao fashi reflects the influence of southern vernacular architecture on northern official architecture. This assertion challenges previously held ideas that northern official architecture influenced the technological developments of southern vernacular architecture (Fu, 1981; Zhang, 2022). 7

    Ink inscriptions found on components of the Main Hall in Zhenru Monastery (Shanghai, Yuan Dynasty) identify the dingtougong as “shangmiaotou”上杪頭 (“upper bracket arm end”). In shangmiaotou comprising two layers, the upper layer is called shangmiaotou and the lower layer is called xiamiaotou 下杪頭 (Shanghai shi wenwu baoguan weiyuanhui, 1966). This inscription is a valuable record of how craftsmen referred to dingtougong. According to the Yingzao fashi, miaogong 杪栱 can be a synonym for huagong. Thus the craftsmen did not create another name for the half bracket-arm inserted into pillars, but regarded it as huagongtou 華栱頭 (“blossoming bracket-arm end”), or one-half of a huagong. This usage is consistent with that of huagongtou in the Yingzao fashi. See also: chagong 插栱 8

    丁頭栱僅見於《營造法式》。根據《營造法式》的文字,丁頭栱是華栱的一種,其長度接近一跳華栱的一半,前端出跳,後尾插入柱或鋪作中。若位於裡跳轉角處則可稱為“蝦須栱”(李 2009, 4.3a )。 作為華栱的一種,丁頭栱應起傳跳並支承其上部構件的作用(徐和郭 1984,8)。 但從實例出發,學者多將出跳的半截栱,包括後尾插入梁中的半截栱,均稱為丁頭栱。5

    但近年有學者對“丁頭栱”指稱泛化提出反對意見。認為應嚴格遵循《法式》原文,只有用於剳牽乳袱的下方起加固梁柱的作用的半截華栱能稱為“丁頭栱”(林 2018)。6

    基於對“丁頭栱”的泛化理解,被認為使用了丁頭栱的現存實例較多,多見於江南、福建地區。學者對多樣化的“丁頭栱”分類並展開研究。(徐和郭 1984,8;唐 2012)也有學者認為《法式》中的丁頭栱具有濃郁的南方尤其江南地域特色,是南方穿斗式構架中的常見構件,體現了後者對前者的影響,進一步反映了北與南、官式與地方在技術交流中的反驅現象。(傅 1981,張 2002)並引申出“丁頭栱做法源於江南”的觀點(張 2002,148, 153)。 7

    上海元代真如寺大殿構件上發現了工匠墨筆題字,其中丁頭栱稱為“下杪頭”,若出兩跳則上跳稱為“上杪頭”、下跳稱為“下杪頭”(上海市文物保管委員會 1966)。 這一材料對於我們了解工匠如何理解和稱呼“丁頭栱”甚為重要。按照《法式》記載,“杪栱”為華栱的別稱,也就是說,事實上工匠並未為入柱的半截栱另起名稱,而是將其視為華栱頭。這一邏輯與《法式》中的華栱頭相似。8


Related concepts

Works Cited

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

  • 1 陳. 2010. 《營造法式》辭解, 16.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 353.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 32.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 GUO. 2002. A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture, 32.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 FU. 2017. Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 353.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 5 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), 4.2b-4.3a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 徐. 1984. 宋《营造法式》术语汇释, 114.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 6 林. 2018. 《营造法式》中的丁头栱及其相关概念辨析——兼论日韩建筑中所见的插栱和丁头栱, 88-102.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 7 徐. 1984. 宋《营造法式》术语汇释, 8.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 唐. 2012. 两宋时期的木造现象及其工匠意识探析——从保国寺大殿与《营造法式》的构件体系比较入手Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 傅. 1981. 福建的几座宋代建筑及其与日本鎌仓“大佛样”建筑的关系Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 张. 2002. 《营造法式》的技术源流及其与江南建筑的关联探析Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 张. 2002. 中国江南禅宗寺院建筑, 148, 153.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 8 上海市文物保管委员会. 1966. 上海市郊元代建筑真如寺正殿中发现的工匠墨笔字Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: bracketing

How to Cite This Entry

ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 et al., “ 丁頭栱 dīngtóugǒng” in Architectura Sinica last modified May 31, 2023, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000216.


ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 et al., “ 丁頭栱 dīngtóugǒng.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 28, 2022. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000216.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 丁頭栱 dīngtóugǒng

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净, associate editor, Architectural Terminology
  • ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 and RUAN Jing 阮景, entry contributors, “ 丁頭栱 dīngtóugǒng

Additional Credit:

  • Website coordination by Yuh-Fen Benda
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  • English proofreading by Aurelia Campbell Tracy Miller
  • Chinese proofreading by ZHUGE Jing 諸葛净 ZUO Lala 左拉拉
  • Initial research and revision by RUAN Jing 阮景
  • Data entry by LI Zhixian 李知賢
  • Entry of revised data and links by LI Zhixian 李知賢

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