- May 1, 2000I 'm not sure if there are many people out there with a deep interest in
Japanese architecture, but I thought I would pass this little bit on.
According to the Sunday edition of Japan Times (yes, this is coming late,
but I've been playing with grass all week--gimme a break!) there was
apparently a recent find at the Izumo Shrine in Taisha, Shimane-ken.
According to the article, excavators have unearthed a pillar with a
diameter of 3 meters within the compound of the shrine. The pillar was
made by tethering three giant tree t runks together, and its
significance is that it lends some credibility to a centuries-old
legend which claims there used to be a 48 meter tall shrine at the current
location. Old blueprints, kept by the Shrine fro mthe Heian Period,
mention a 3-meter diameter pillar made using three trees.
The importance of the find is tha t it may back up historical docu ments
which often mentioned that the shrine used to have a very tall wooden
building. If it is true, the Heian building would have been twice as
tall as the current shrine and the tallest example of Japan's wooden
architecture with the exception of some five-story wooden pagodas.
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