Five-storied pagoda at Japan's Kofukuji temple to receive first major repairs in over a century
NARA, Japan (The Japan News/ANN) - The five-storied pagoda of Nara’s Kofukuji temple, classified as a World Heritage site, will undergo large-scale repairs for the first time in about 120 years.
The Nara prefectural government and other entities announced on Thursday that the five-storied pagoda of Nara’s Kofukuji temple, classified as a World Heritage site, will undergo large-scale repairs for the first time in about 120 years. Plans include a survey to be conducted over two years starting in fiscal 2020, followed by repairs such as replacing all the roof’s tiles.
The pagoda was originally erected in 730 by Empress Komyo, a daughter of the temple’s founding patron, Fujiwara no Fuhito. After repeated destruction by fire and reconstruction, the current structure was built in 1426. This plan will be the first large-scale repair of the pagoda since 1901. Standing at about 50 meters tall, Kofukuji temple’s pagoda is the second tallest among the wooden pagodas existing in the country today, after the five-storied pagoda of Kyoto’s Toji temple, which is roughly 55 meters high.
According to the prefectural government, they will decide things, such as which parts they will repair or how they will go about it, after a survey of damaged timber and seismic diagnosis. As a result, they have yet to confirm the length or cost of the repairs to the building.
The damage to the tiles of the national treasure are particularly remarkable as there are cases where they have fallen off due to strong winds.
“We hope that the tower, that has been enveloped by a spirit of prayer since the Nara period, will be repaired safely so that it can be handed down to the next generation,” said Eishun Moriya, chief abbot of the temple.