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gorintou@ܗ֓
KEY WORD :@architecture / buildings & structures
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Lit. five-ring pagoda. Also gorin ܗ, gorin sekitou ܗ֐Γ, houkaitou @E, gorin touba ܗ֓k, gogedatsurin ܉E. A five-storied pagoda (Sk; stupa) in which each storey corresponds to one of five elements. The bottom storey is square and corresponds to the earth ring *chirin n. Next is the spherical water ring *suirin , surmounted by the triangular ring of fire karin Η. Above this is a reclining half-moon shape fuurin , representing the wind, and topmost is the gem-shaped ring of space kuurin . It is believed that the gorintou was first adopted in the mid-Heian period by the esoteric Buddhist sects, Shingon ^ and Tendai V. In Shingon Buddhism it symbolized *Dainichi , the supreme Buddha, 'essence of the infinite levels of the unconscious mind'. Buddha was also thought to be a manifestation of the universal five elements. Each storey of the pagoda is usually inscribed with the Sanskrit character for the element represented. After the Heian period the gorintou was often used as a funerary monument. Most gorintou are two to three meters high; the tallest example, at Iwashimizu Hachimanguu ␴{, is six meters high. Large examples are made of stone gorin sekitou, while smaller ones are sometimes made from wood ita gorintouba Œܗ֓k, clay nendo gorintouba Syܗ֓k or metal. These smaller stupas are used as votive offerings, and are often hand crafted by those who present them to the temple. The oldest known Chuusonji Gorintou (1169), can be seen at Chuusonji Shakuson-in ߑ@ in Iwate preference. Sometimes parts of a gorintou are used for decoration in a garden, and the spherical water ring and the trapezoidal fire ring sometimes serve as a handwash basin *chouzubachi 萅. An example of this type can be seen at Katsura Rikyuu j{ in Kyoto. Sometimes a small-scale gorintou made from a single block of stone, issekikokusei gorintou ΍ܗ֓, is also used in private gardens.
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a) Jewel-shape : kuurin

b) Hemisphere : fuurin

c) Pyramid : karin Η

d) Sphere : *suirin

e) Cube : *chirin n

Gangouji (Nara)

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