Definition of Five Storied Pagoda: A five-storied pagoda is a symbolic tomb of Buddha. When Buddhism was introduced into Japan in 538, a five-storied pagoda became one of the important components of temple complexes. Present Situations of Wooden Five-storied Pagoda: There are 22 wooden five-storied pagodas in Japan. The oldest is the one in Horyuji Temple built in 710. The tallest is the one in Toji Temple with the height of 54.8 m. The shortest is the one in Murooji Temple with height of 16 m. Structural Characteristics: There is no historical record that five-storied pagoda was destroyed by an earthquake. A contributory factor is that no nail is used but carved holes or grooves in each of wooden pieces interdigitate precisely to form a structure. Another key factor is “A Central column (Shin-bashira)”, an important wooden structural component almost 30 m long. There was no theoretical principle. A Central column is effective against an earthquake and it has been regarded to absorb the earthquake energy. Thirdly, five-storied pagoda interior space is effective to control structural deformation and shake of pagoda. The first theoretical analysis was done by 1/5 scale model in 2006 that proved the role of “Central column”. Application to the Modern Technology: There are two cases presently. One is Marubiru Office building 178.5 m high built in 2002 and another is Tokyo Sky Tree, a telecommunication tower 634 m high built in 2012. Those structural design was influenced by a pagoda’s central column as a vibration damping tool.
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