Tahōtō

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Tahōtō at Ishiyama-dera, dating to 1194 and a National Treasure; distinctive features are the square base; stupa mound; mokoshi or lower 'skirt' roof; upper pyramidal roof; and sōrin or finial
A hōtō
Floorplan of the daitō at Negoro-ji; many features are shared with the tahōtō; the daitō is larger, with five bays on each side rather than three
Stupa (仏舎利塔 busshari-tō?) at Ryūkō-ji, Kanagawa Prefecture; without a protective roof, the plaster weathers rapidly
Bronze sōrin or finial at Iwawaki-dera, Ōsaka Prefecture; comprising an inverted bowl, lotus petals, nine rings, flame, and jewel

A tahōtō (多宝塔 lit. many-jewelled pagoda?) is a form of Japanese pagoda found primarily at Esoteric Shingon and Tendai school Buddhist temples. It is unique among pagodas because it has an even number of stories (two). (The second story has a balustrade and seems habitable, but is nonetheless inaccessible and offers no usable space.)[1] Its name alludes to Tahō Nyorai, who appears seated in a many-jewelled pagoda in the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra.[2][3] With square lower and cylindrical upper parts, a mokoshi 'skirt roof', a pyramidal roof, and a finial, the tahōtō or the larger daitō was one of the seven halls of a Shingon temple.[4] After the Heian period the construction of pagodas in general declined, and new tahōtō became rare. Six examples, of which that at Ishiyama-dera (1194) is the earliest, have been designated National Treasures.[5] There are no examples in China, whether architectural or pictoral, of anything that resembles the tahōtō, although there is a Song dynasty textual reference to a 'tahōtō with an encircling chamber'.[6]

Hōtō[edit]

The hōtō (宝塔?) or treasure pagoda is the ancestor of the tahōtō and dates to the introduction to Japan of Shingon and Tendai Buddhism in the ninth century.[2][6] No wooden hōtō has survived, albeit modern copies do exist, and stone, bronze, or iron specimen are always miniatures comprising a foundation stone, barrel-shaped body, pyramid roof, and a finial.[2][7]

Daitō[edit]

While the tahōtō is 3x3 ken (bays), a larger 5x5 ken version exists, known as daitō (大塔?) or 'large pagoda'.[4] This is the only type of tahōtō to retain the original structure with a row of pillars or a wall separating the corridor (hisashi) from the core of the structure, abolished in smaller pagodas.[7][8] Daitō used to be common but, of all those ever built, only a few are still extant. One is at Wakayama prefecture's Negoro-ji, another at Kongōbu-ji, again in Wakayama, another at Kirihata-dera, Tokushima prefecture, another at Narita-san in Chiba. (See the respective list entries.) Kūkai himself, founder of the Shingon school, built the celebrated daitō for Kongōbu-ji on Kōyasan; almost fifty metres high, chronicles relate that 'the mightiness of its single storey outdoes that of multi-storeyed pagodas'.[3][6][9] The specimen found at Negoro-ji (see photo above) is 30.85 meters tall and a National Treasure.

Structure[edit]

Single-storey[edit]

Japanese pagodas have an odd number of stories.[10] While the tahōto may appear to be twin-storied, complete with balustrade, the upper part is inaccessible with no usable space.[1] The lower roof, known as a mokoshi, provides shelter and the appearance of an additional storey.[6][11]

Floor plan[edit]

Raised over the kamebara or 'tortoise mound' (亀腹?), the ground floor has a square plan, 3x3 ken across, with a circular core.[7][12] Inside, a room is marked out by the shitenbashira or 'four pillars of heaven' (四天柱?), a reference to the Four Heavenly Kings.[1][7] The main objects of worship are often enshrined within.[7][13]

Upper part[edit]

Above is a second 'tortoise mound', in a residual reference to the stupa.[6] Since exposed plaster weathers rapidly, a natural solution was to provide it with a roof, the mokoshi.[6][14] Above again is a short, cylindrical section and a pyramidal roof, supported on four-stepped brackets.[1][15]

Finial[edit]

Main article: sōrin

Like all Japanese pagodas, the tahōtō is topped by a vertical shaft known as the sōrin (相輪?).[16] This comprises the base or 'dew basin'; an inverted bowl with attached lotus petals; nine rings; 'water flame'; and jewel.[16] The finial's division in sections has a symbolic meaning and its structure as a whole itself represents a pagoda.[17]

Miniature versions[edit]

A number of smaller versions of the tahōtō are known, of stone, bronze, iron, or wood, and similar to the hōtō.[18][19]

Meaning[edit]

A number of mandala show the Iron Stupa in southern India, where the patriarch Nāgārjuna received the Esoteric scriptures, as a single-storey pagoda with a cylindrical body, a pyramidal roof, and a spire.[6] The forms used in the tahōtō, namely the square, circle, triangle, semi-circle, and circle, may represent the Five Elements or the Five Virtues.[3][6] The egg-shaped stupa mound or aṇḍa may represent Mount Sumeru, with the finial as the axis of the world; or, by a folk interpretation, the square base may represents a folded robe, the dome an overturned begging bowl, and the spire a walking staff.[3] The tahōtō served not as a reliquary tower but often as an icon hall.[7]

Examples[edit]

Image Property Date Municipality Prefecture Comments Designation
Raigō-in tahōtō (来迎院多宝塔?)[20][21] 1556 Ryūgasaki Ibaraki Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Rakuhoji temple Tahoto Tower.jpg Rakuhō-ji tahōtō (楽法寺多宝塔?)[22] 1684 Sakuragawa Ibaraki Prefecture 3 ken; originated in a three-storey pagoda of 1254, later ruined and rebuilt Prefectural
BannajiTahoto.JPG Banna-ji tahōtō (鑁阿寺多宝塔?) 1692 Ashikaga Tochigi Prefecture 3 ken
Kanasana Jinjya Tahōtō 2009.jpg Kanasana Jinja tahōtō (金鑽神社多宝塔?)[23] 1534 Kamikawa Saitama Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Kitain-Tahoutou.jpg Kita-in tahōtō (喜多院多宝塔?)[24] 1639 Kawagoe Saitama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Nago-dera Tahoto old.jpg Nago-dera tahōtō (那古寺多宝塔?)[25] 1761 Tateyama Chiba Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof Prefectural
Ishidō-ji tahōtō (石堂寺多宝塔?)[26] 1548 Minamibōsō Chiba Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Narita-san Great Pagoda of Peace.JPG Narita-san daitō (新勝寺大塔?) 1984 Narita Chiba Prefecture 5 ken
Gokoku-ji (Tahoto).jpg Gokoku-ji tahōtō (護国寺多宝塔?)[27] 1938 Bunkyō Tōkyō 3 ken, tiled roof; modelled on that of Ishiyama-dera
Ikegami Honmon-ji hōtō.jpg Ikegami Honmon-ji hōtō (池上本門寺宝塔?)[28] 1828 Ōta Tōkyō ICP
Turu daitoz.jpg Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū daitō (鶴岡八幡宮大塔?) Kamakura Kanagawa Prefecture 5 ken; destroyed
Nichiryuubuji2008-13.jpg Nichiryūbu-ji tahōtō (日竜峯寺多宝塔?)[29][30] 1275-1332 Seki Gifu Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof ICP
Arako kannon 08.JPG Kannon-ji tahōtō (観音寺多宝塔?)[31][32] 1536 Nagoya Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof ICP
Shōkai-ji tahōtō (性海寺多宝塔?)[33][34] 1393-1466 Inazawa Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof ICP
Mantoku-ji tahōtō (万徳寺多宝塔?)[35][36] 1467-1572 Inazawa Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof ICP
Tahoto at Senjoin 2010-02-27.JPG Senjō-in tahōtō (泉浄院多宝塔?) 1962 Inuyama Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Daijuji tahoto.jpg Daiju-ji tahōtō (大樹寺多宝塔?)[37][38] 1535 Okazaki Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof ICP
Chiryū Jinja tahoto.jpg Chiryū Jinja tahōtō (知立神社多宝塔?)[39][40] 1509 Chiryū Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Tōkannon-ji tahōtō (東観音寺多宝塔?)[41][42] 1528 Toyohashi Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Mitsuzōin (Kasugai) 18.JPG Mitsuzō-in tahōtō (密蔵院多宝塔?)[15][43][44] 1393-1466 Kasugai Aichi Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof; dismantled for repairs in 1953, roof repairs in 1977 ICP
Ishiyamadera5444.JPG Ishiyama-dera tahōtō (石山寺多宝塔?)[45][46][47][48] 1194 Ōtsu Shiga Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof; four painted pillars of the Kamakura period (ICP); inside are a Heian period and a Kamakura period wooden seated statue of Dainichi Nyorai, both (ICP) National Treasure
Kontai-ji tahōtō (金胎寺多宝塔?)[49] 1298 Wazuka Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Jojakkoji01s3200.jpg Jōjakō-ji tōba (常寂光寺塔婆(多宝塔)?)[49] 1620 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof ICP
Yoshiminedera04n4592.jpg Yoshimine-dera tahōtō (善峰寺多宝塔?)[50] 1621 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof ICP
Hōtō-ji tōba (寶塔寺塔婆(多宝塔)?)[51] 1438 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Honpoji01s3216.jpg Honpō-ji tahōtō (本法寺多宝塔?)[52] 1808 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Horinji (Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto) tahoto.jpg Hōrin-ji tahōtō (法輪寺多宝塔?) 1942 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof
Jingoji Kyoto Kyoto40n4592.jpg Jingo-ji tahōtō (神護寺多宝塔?)[53][54] 1935 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; inside are five Heian period wooden seated statues of Kokuzō Bosatsu (National Treasures)
Chion-in (Tahoto).jpg Chion-in tahōtō (知恩院多宝塔?) 1958 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Eikando Zenrinji-temple Tahoto.JPG Eikan-dō tahōtō (永観堂多宝塔?)[55] 1928 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken
Osawaike Daikakuji Kyoto 001 JPN.jpg Daikaku-ji hōtō (大覚寺宝塔?)[56] 1967 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Kurama-dera Tahoto.jpg Kurama-dera tahōtō (鞍馬寺多宝塔?)[57] 1960 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken; the previous tahōtō was destroyed in the late Edo period
Sanmyoin tahoto.jpg Sanmyō-in tahōtō (三明院多宝塔?) 1961 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof
Seiryoji tahoto.jpg Seiryō-ji tahōtō (清凉寺多宝塔?)[58] 1702 Kyōto Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Anaoji05s3200.jpg Anao-ji tahōtō (穴太寺多宝塔?)[59] 1804 Kameoka Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Daifukukō-ji tahōtō (大福光寺多宝塔?)[15][60] 1275-1332 Kyōtamba Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof; dismantled for repairs in 1918, roof repairs in 1955 ICP
Enryuji Maizuru05s3200.jpg Enryū-ji tahōtō (円隆寺多宝塔?)[61] 1751 Maizuru Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Chionji Tahōtō.jpg Chion-ji tahōtō (智恩寺多宝塔?)[62] 1500 Miyazu Kyōto Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Aizendo Shomanin Osaka03s5s3200.jpg Shōman-in tōba (勝鬘院塔婆?)[63] 1597 Ōsaka Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Iwawakiji2.jpg Iwawaki-dera tahōtō (岩湧寺多宝塔?)[64][65] 1467-1572 Kawachinagano Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof; inside is a Heian period seated wooden statue of Dainichi Nyorai (ICP) ICP
Amanosan kongou-ji3.JPG Kongō-ji tahōtō (金剛寺多宝塔?)[66] 1086-1184 Kawachinagano Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Jigenin Izumisano04s3200.jpg Jigen-in tahōtō (慈眼院多宝塔?)[67] 1271 Izumisano Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof National Treasure
Daiitokuji tahoto3.jpg Daiitoku-ji tahōtō (大威徳寺多宝塔?)[68] 1515 Kishiwada Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Katsuo-jiF7398.jpg Katsuō-ji tahōtō (勝尾寺多宝塔?)[69] 1987 Minō Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof
Hodoji (Sakai, Osaka) Tahoto.jpg Hōdō-ji tahōtō (法道寺多宝塔?)[15][70] 1368 Sakai Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; dismantled for repairs in 1921, roof repairs in 1969 ICP
Eifukuji03s3200.jpg Eifuku-ji tahōtō (叡福寺多宝塔?)[71] 1652 Taishi Ōsaka Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Sagamiji03s3200.jpg Sagami-ji tahōtō (酒見寺多宝塔?)[72] 1662 Kasai Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled lower roof, hinoki upper roof ICP
Okusan-ji tahōtō (奥山寺多宝塔?)[73] 1709 Kasai Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Cyokoji05.JPG Chōkō-ji tahōtō (奥山寺多宝塔?)[73] 1710 Katō Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Tokkoin02 1024.jpg Tokkō-in tahōtō (徳光院多宝塔?)[74] 1478 Kobe Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Gayain02.JPG Gaya-in tahōtō (伽耶院多宝塔?)[75] 1648 Miki Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Renge-ji tahōtō (蓮花寺多宝塔?)[73] 1812 Miki Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof Prefectural
Miki-tokoji03.JPG Tōkō-ji tahōtō (蓮花寺多宝塔?)[73] mid-Muromachi period Miki Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, iron upper roof, tiled lower roof Prefectural
Shōkon-ji tahōtō (荘厳寺多宝塔?)[73] 1715 Nishiwaki Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof Prefectural
Choonji (Amagasaki, Hyogo) tahoto.jpg Chōon-ji tahōtō (長遠寺多宝塔?)[76] 1607 Amagasaki Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Onsenji07 2816.jpg Onsen-ji tahōtō (温泉寺多宝塔?) 1767 Toyooka Hyōgo Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Kichidenji Ikaruga Nara Pref03s3s4410.jpg Kichiden-ji tahōtō (吉田寺多宝塔?)[77] 1463 Ikaruga Nara Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Kume-dera tahōtō (久米寺多宝塔?)[78] 1615-1660 Kashihara Nara Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Chyogosonshiji tahoto.jpg Chōgosonshi-ji tahōtō (朝護孫子寺多宝塔?) late Edo period Heguri Nara Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Hozanji tahoto.jpg Hōzan-ji tahōtō (宝山寺多宝塔?) 1957 Ikoma Nara Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Tonanin Yoshino Nara02n4272.jpg Tōnan-in tahōtō (東南院多宝塔?)[79] early Meiji period Yoshino Nara Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof
Jisonin tahoto.jpg Jison-in tahōtō (慈尊院多宝塔?)[80] 1624 Kudoyama Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof Prefectural
Danjogaran Koyasan16n4272.jpg Kōyasan Danjō Garan daitō (大塔?)[3][9] 1937 Kōya Wakayama Prefecture 5 ken; five Buddhas of the Diamond Realm enshrined inside, with bodhisattva painted on the columns, in a form of mandala; the first daitō was completed in 837; it and four successors were destroyed by fire
Danjogaran Koyasan08n4272.jpg Kongōbu-ji Saitō (金剛峯寺西塔?)[9] 1834 Kōya Wakayama Prefecture 5 ken, tiled roof; five Buddhas of the Womb Realm enshrined inside
Danjogaran Koyasan23n3200.jpg Kongōbu-ji Tōtō (金剛峯寺東塔?) 1984 Kōya Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken
KongouZanmaiin Tahoto.jpg Kongō Sanmai-in tahōtō (金剛三昧院多宝塔?)[81][82] 1223 Kōya Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof; inside are Kamakura period wooden seated statues of the Five Buddhas National Treasure
Kimiidera Wakayama18n4272.jpg Kimii-dera tahōtō (護国院多宝塔?)[83] 1449 Wakayama Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Kaizenin tahoto.jpg Kaizen-in tahōtō (海禅院多宝塔?)[84] 1653 Wakayama Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Negoroji03s3200.jpg Negoro-ji tahōtō (daitō) (根来寺多宝塔(大塔)?)[85] 1492-1554 Iwade Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, hinoki roof National Treasure
Jomyoji Arida02n3200.jpg Jōmyō-ji tahōtō (浄妙寺多宝塔?)[15][86] 1275-1332 Arida Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; dismantled for repairs in 1935 ICP
Chohoji05s3200.jpg Chōhō-ji tahōtō (長保寺多宝塔?)[15][87] 1357 Kainan Wakayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; dismantled for repairs in 1927 National Treasure
Henshō-ji tahōtō (遍照寺多宝塔?)[88] 1606 Kasaoka Okayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof ICP
Rendaiji 09.jpg Rendai-ji tahōtō (蓮台寺多宝塔?)[89] 1670 Kurashiki Okayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; rebuilt after a storm in 1843 Prefectural
Anjū-in tahōtō (安住院多宝塔?)[90] 1688-1703 Okayama Okayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Shōen-ji tōba (tahōtō) (静円寺塔婆(多宝塔)?)[91] 1690 Setouchi Okayama Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Mitaki-dera Taho-to.jpg Mitaki-dera tahōtō (三瀧寺多宝塔?)[92][93] 1526 Hiroshima Hiroshima Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; originally part of a Hachiman shrine in Wakayama Prefecture; relocated in 1951 in honour of the victims of the atomic bomb Prefectural
Tahoto Miyajima 2011.JPG Itsukushima Jinja tahōtō (厳島神社多宝塔?)[94][95] 1523 Hatsukaichi Hiroshima Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof ICP
Onomichi Jodoji 08.JPG Jōdo-ji tahōtō (浄土寺多宝塔?)[15][96][97] 1319-28 Onomichi Hiroshima Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof; dismantled for repairs in 1935, repainted in 1973 National Treasure
Kōsan-ji tahōtō (耕三寺多宝塔?)[98] 1942 Onomichi Hiroshima Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof; modelled on that of Ishiyama-dera Registered
Butsuji Tahoutou.jpg Buttsu-ji tahōtō (佛通寺多宝塔?)[99] 1927 Mihara Hiroshima Prefecture 3 ken, copper roof Registered
Akaibō tahōtō (閼伽井坊多宝塔?)[100][101] 1560 Kudamatsu Yamaguchi Prefecture 3 ken, shingle roof; inscription with date found in 1928 ICP
Kirihataji 06.JPG Kirihata-ji daitō (切幡寺大塔?)[4][102] 1618 Awa Tokushima Prefecture 5 ken, twin-storey, tiled roof; pillars unusually arranged in a concentric square; relocated from Sumiyoshi Taisha in Ōsaka during the Meiji period ICP
Yakuoji 06 cropped.jpg Yakuō-ji yugitō (薬王寺瑜祇塔?)[103] 1963 Minami Tokushima Prefecture
Kumataniji 04.JPG Kumadani-ji tahōtō (熊谷寺多宝塔?)[104] 1774 Awa Tokushima Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof Prefectural
Yodaji09s3872.jpg Yoda-ji tahōtō (與田寺多宝塔?) 1984 Higashikagawa Kagawa Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Okuboji 08.JPG Ōkubo-ji tahōtō (大窪寺多宝塔?) 1954 Sanuki Kagawa Prefecture 3 ken
Doryuji 06.JPG Dōryū-ji tahōtō (道隆寺多宝塔?) 1980 Tadotsu Kagawa Prefecture 3 ken, tiled roof
Yakuriji 07.JPG Yakuri-ji tahōtō (八栗寺多宝塔?) 1984 Takamatsu Kagawa Prefecture 3 ken

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b c "Houtou". Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Retrieved 25 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Nicoloff, Philip L. (2008). Sacred Koyasan: A pilgrimage to the Mountain Temple of Saint Kōbō Daishi and the Great Sun Buddha. State University of New York Press. pp. 124–131, 301–3. ISBN 978-0-7914-7259-0. 
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  5. ^ "Database of National Cultural Properties (多宝塔)". Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
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  8. ^ Hamashima, Masashi (1999). Jisha Kenchiku no Kanshō Kiso Chishiki (in Japanese). Tokyo: Shibundō. p. 74. 
  9. ^ a b c Bogel, Cynthea J. (2009). With a Single Glance: Buddhist Icon and Early Mikkyō Vision. University of Washington Press. pp. 256f. ISBN 978-0-295-98920-4. 
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  13. ^ "Shitenbashira". Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  14. ^ Suzuki, Kakichi (1980). Early Buddhist Architecture in Japan. Kodansha. pp. 18f. ISBN 0-87011-386-0. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g Parent, Mary (1983). The Roof in Japanese Buddhist Architecture. Weatherhill. pp. 128, 292f. ISBN 0-8348-0186-8. 
  16. ^ a b "Sourin". Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
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