kunisakitou 国東塔
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
A single-storied, circular pagoda with a pyramidal roof. A type of *houtou 宝塔. The kunisakitou is wide spread in Ooita prefecture and is named for its prevalence on the Kunisaki 国東 peninsula. Those extant are made of stone and are 2.20m-3m high. The vase-shaped body *toushin 塔身, is positioned on a lotus seat *rengeza 蓮華座. The uppermost base stone commonly has a carved decoration *kouzama 格狭間. There may be one or two rather high base stones under the top decorative one. Above it is an inverted ring of lotus petals and a simple band that separates it from the lotus petal bowl *ukebana 受花. A roof is placed over the vase-shaped body. A finial *sourin 相輪, is erected on a base that is similar to the one that supports the vase-shaped body. The *houju 宝珠 (a tear-drop shaped form) is placed at the very top. There was no need for a *suien 水煙, the protective symbol of water and fire usually found on timber pagodas, because this one is made entirely of stone. Most of these kunisakitou were erected between the Kamakura, and the Muromachi period, for encasing sutra, for the repose of a soul, or to pray for the future peace of one's own soul.


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