In chapter 19
of Serpent of Time,
Gendô and Sen put the finishing touches on the Qi Men Dun Jia
time machine in the Konpon Dai-tô (tô
The Japanese pagoda evolved from stupa
built to contain relics of the Buddha (discussed here
). The structure symbolizes the Five Elements--earth, water, fire, air and space. Pagoda architecture also provides early examples of earthquake proofing
using pendulum damping.
The biggest architectural difference is that Japanese pagodas are always made out of wood, also because of earthquakes.
The pagoda is framed around a central pole (真柱), usually the trunk of a large cedar tree. Except that in a finished pagoda, the central pole is not load-bearing. The weight of the structure is carried by the outside supporting pillars that define the square shape of the pagoda's floors.
The central pole instead serves to dampen the sideways motion of the upper floors (cantilevered and inertially stable), and channels that energy into the ground. Tokyo's 2,080 foot Sky Tree
also employees a central stationary pendulum, along with a pair of tuned mass dampers
I don't think it mere coincidence that the digital television antennas perched atop the Sky Tree closely resemble the surprisingly futuristic finials
that have graced the roofs of pagodas for centuries.
Labels: buddhism, japanese culture, religion, serpent notes, serpent of time