moji-etou 文字絵塔
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures ; art history / paintings
Sutras written in such a way that the characters form the image of a pagoda. One of the two methods is called moji renkeitou 文字連繋塔. An entire sutra was written beginning from the tear-drop form *houju 宝珠, at the top of the finial *sourin 相輪, down to the lowest step of the podium *kidan 基壇. All the characters were made to fit into the shapes that are characteristic of a multi-storied pagoda. Ten separate works were completed for ten sutras. The characters were written in gold on a dark blue background during the mid-Heian period. Pictures with various colors were painted on each side of the pagoda. One example is owned by Chuusonji 中尊寺 in Iwate prefecture.


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