Japan's Structural Beauty, The Pagoda
Adopting & Developing the Stupa
A square base starts up the pagoda at the bottom, which is then followed by four more levels, which are supported by horizontal and diagonal beams and bases called "tanuki". Tanuki start inside and slant downwards to the outside of the pagoda This also helps to support the large eaves of each tier. Each pagoda level is smaller than the story below it, and holds twelve pillars called "gawarabashi".
Tiers are built to balance out the weight of the pagoda. A multitude of tiles make each tier heavy enough to weigh out the swaying tower. This way, everything is evenly balanced and safe. But, of course, a building still needs its support.
For support throughout the entire pagoda, it has two features. The main support is a central pillar, which runs through all five levels, to the top, called a "shinbashira". A spire of copper or iron running through the top of the tower is also adding as a counterweight.
Importance & Significance
All Pictures Credited To : Google Images
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Key Points and Review
- The first form of a pagoda passed over to Japan, and was originally called a stupa.
- The Japanese adopted the design of the stupa, altering and changing, while keeping a few original features.
- A pagoda's structure is built to withstand earthquakes.
- Central beams, pillars, tiers, etc help to support and evenly weigh each level.
- Pagodas were important to Buddhist temples because they commemorated relics.
- Pagodas today are small in numbers to to their susceptibility to fire.
- Building today uses techniques from the early Japanese pagodas.