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Pagoda research trip

2021-06-18 by David

The next building for the samurai temple collection will be a classic pagoda, and I was lucky to find one of Japan's top pagodas located only a 90 minute drive away, in Yamaguchi prefecture.

£ This is the gorgeous 5-storied pagoda at Ruriko Temple, built in 1442, overlooking this large fish pond. It's all wood, even the roof, and will form the basis for my pagoda model.


£ On this little research trip I wanted to get a close look at the details of the building, and if possible what it looks like inside.

£ Just look at the wood details in this photo! Hopefully the upcoming model will match this in terms of details, although I think perhaps a stone base and roof tiles will also look great.

£ Seeing me measuring the base width of the pagoda for reference purposes, the volunteer staff were very interested in my little project! 3D printing is still mostly unknown in Japan, and most people have never even seen the technology at work, and they were keen to help!


I was very privileged to be shown what the inside of the pagoda looks like, as few people ever get to see it. Opening doors on each of the 4 sides lead into this very cramped space, with 4 columns (on the first level) surrounding a massively thick wooden column in the centre. That column goes all the way up to the top of the building, and lets it flex and sway when necessary (earthquakes etc).


I was surprised to find that there are in fact no internal steps up to higher levels, so I will have to provide some ladder access to the second floor on my model, since the Ruriko pagoda building actually has a narrow balcony on the 2nd level.


£ The kind staff also provided me with some detailed schematics of the building, made a few years ago during repair work. Combined with my own reference photos, I think I've got everything I need to recreate it perfectly.


So we're all set to start on this fantastic building, and I'll be sharing work-in-progress shots as we go along....


Tags: samurai  design 


2021-06-19 (Sat) 5:28AM

Wow! David, what an opportunity and what great research! I can confirm that visits inside pagodas are unusual. Itfs great that everyone was supportive of your work and allowed you to get a close-up look at everything.

Many thanks for their generosity of time and openness for all of us.

Keep up the great work!

David (3DAlienWorlds)
2021-06-19 (Sat) 9:09AM

Thanks, Ja - I'll try!

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