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Oldest wooden construction

Published Oct 27, 2022
Updated Oct 27, 2022

📍 Five-storeyed pagoda at Kofuku-ji, Nara

A towering structure of five-storeyed pagoda dates to 5th century CE. Known as Gojū-no-tō (lit. five storeyed), the pagoda overlooks one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Nara. It is the second tallest ancient tower in Japan. The pagoda, a national treasure itself, was originally built to house the mortal remains of Shakyamuni Buddha.

After being struck by lightning and catching fire multiple times, the current pagoda dates to c. 15th century CE construction.

Although some parts of the pagoda are reconstructed, it is still one of the oldest wooden structures in Japan! The decorated spire on the pagoda was smelted during the Edo period, and stands in its original form.

The beautiful pagoda is now supported by structural reinforcements. Additionally, talisman and charms to protect against fire and lightning hang from each storey of the pagoda.

____ Sources ____ 

>> Horyuji - story of five-storied pagoda temple in Nara. [site manual published by the Tourism Ministry of Japan],1974

 >> History of Art in Japan - Nobuo Tsuji, New York:Columbia University Press, 2019

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5th century CE