Friday, July 31st, 2009 | Author:

Okay… I always thought that pagodas looked pretty cool, but I don’t think I ever really knew anything beyond the “look” of them.

Turns out that they’re actually pretty interesting.  Of the hundreds of pagodas in Japan only 2 are known to have collapsed or fallen over.  Many more have been burned down or destroyed, but that doesn’t count!

So their question in this article is why…  turns out it is a pretty interesting structure that is really held together (level by level) by gravity and the levels themselves are only held together by loose joints…  Then in the middle of the pagoda is something called a “shinbashira” which is apparently a large tree trunk sort of thing that sounds like it serves multiple purposes… 1) provide weight to help gravity hold things together and 2) to counterbalance movements of the different levels…

That’s pretty friggin cool really… now I want to go see one…

Take a minute to read this…it is really pretty cool…

Economist Article on pagodas

Category: News
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One Response

  1. i always liked pagodas, but like you i never knew they were an engineering marvel. thanks for the info.

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