Scholars believe they have unearthed a fragment from what might have been the tallest pagoda ever built in Japan.
|A fragment of the “sorin” made from copper with gold plating
[Credit: Yoshiko Sato]
The Kyoto City Archaeological Research Institute showed off the artifact, part of a “sorin” decorative fixture that is placed atop a pagoda, on July 8. In this case, it would have been the tip of a pagoda called “Kitayama Daito” that was constructed within the grounds of the famed Kinkakuji temple in the city’s Kita Ward at the order of Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408), the third shogun of the Muromachi Shogunate. However, in 1416, shortly before it was completed, the pagoda burned to the ground after lightning struck. Other than speculation it was modeled after a seven-tiered pagoda at another temple, little is known.