The Suzakumon (朱雀門, Suzakumon or Shujakumon) was the main gate built in the center of the south end of the imperial palaces in the Japanese ancient capitals of Fujiwara-kyō (Kashihara), Heijō-kyō (Nara), and later Heian-kyō (Kyoto). The placement followed the ancient Chinese palace model requirements at the time, where Suzaku (朱雀, Suzaku), the Vermilion Bird was the Guardian of the South. (See Four Symbols for more.)
It was said to be the site where foreign dignitaries were received by the Emperor. All of them were destroyed centuries ago along with the old imperial residences.[clarification needed]
In 1993, it was decided that the gate of Nara would be reconstructed. It proved extremely difficult to work out what Suzakumon had looked like, as there were no surviving structural remnants. A conjectural model was developed, based on comparable architecture elsewhere, and the new gate was constructed from a mixture of traditional building materials (cypress wood and tiles) and concrete, in order to resist earthquakes. The reconstructed gate was opened in 1998.
- "Heijōkyūato suzakumon 1300-nen no toki o koe, yomigaetta tenpyō no iyō remasu" 平城宮跡 朱雀門 1300年の時を越え、蘇った天平の威容 れます。 [Heijo Palace Remains Suzakumon: The majesty of Tenpei revived after 1300.]. Takenaka Corporation (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2013 – via Wayback Machine.
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- Nara Palace Site Museum(in Japanese)