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Tokyo Skytee & Five-Storied Pagoda: What is common?

If you were asked of what is common between Tokyo Skytree and a five-storied pagoda, what would be your answer?

Tokyo Skytree is a landmark in Tokyo as being the world’s tallest self-standing broadcasting tower with a height of 634m. You can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view from its observatory decks which are located at the altitudes of 350m and 450m. If it’s fine, Mt.Fuji should be in your sight. A large shopping complex and an aquarium are located at its base so you may want to spend several hours the site.

A five-storied pagoda is a Buddhist architecture where a small amount of Buddha’s relics are kept, usually, at its top floor. There are many beautiful five-storied pagodas left at the properties of such temples as To-ji and Daigo-ji in Kyoto, Murou-ji- in Nara, Ruriko-ji in Yamaguchi … the list can go on and on. They were built with woods and timbers several centuries ago but NONE of them across Japan has collapsed due to earthquakes, while some were burnt down by fires or thunder lightings. The inherent strength of five-storied pagodas is thought to stem from the fact the central column dose not physically support the pagoda’s stories and acts as a counterweight to absorb vibration caused by earthquakes.

The architectural technology used in five-storied pagodas has been applied to building Tokyo Skytree. The core column of Tokyo Skytree which is made of reinforced concrete is connected with its surrounding steel frame by “flexible” oil-dumpers, meaning they are not fixed. This technology is called “Central Column Vibration Control” and the computer simulation claims that about 40% of vibration caused by earthquakes be mitigated.

When you look up Tokyo Skytree, please remember how common it is with the Buddhist’s structure of five-storied pagoda.

By Jin Shibata

e-mail: jin.shibata@i3ws.co.jp,

 

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