Canada Wood Today | The Canada Wood Group

Japan Wood Research Society WG Visits 5-Storey Pagoda in Kagawa Prefecture

Hidehiko Fumoto

By Hidehiko Fumoto

Deputy Director and Manager Technical Services, Canada Wood Japan

January 24, 2020

As part of working group activities of the Japan Wood Research Society, COFI recently visited Honzanji Temple in Kagawa Prefecture, where we witnessed the traditional wooden structure of 5-storey pagoda.  The Honzanji Temple in Mitoyo City, Kagawa Prefecture, Shikoku Island was established in Year 807 and the building of the 5-storey pagoda started in 1896 and was completed in 1910.

The comprehensive repairing project for the pagoda started in 2013 and was completed in April 2019.  The working group members were invited exclusively to be allowed to climb up to the top floor level; to which general visitors do not have access.  This pagoda is characterized by the centre column that does not touch the foundation but is lifted by the surrounding structures.  As evidence of traditional tall wood, the pagoda’s height is 31.75 m and its weight is approximately 145.57 ton.  According to the species identification survey, the species used for the major columns was Japanese Umbrella-pine (Sciadopitys verticillate).  The participants of the visit were architects, experts in wood strengths and structure.