Refurbishing Work Begins on the Three-Storied Pagoda Registered Tangible Cultural Property, One of Three Old Pagodas Existing in Tokyo

September 21, 2010Takenaka Corporation

Since 2009, Takenaka Corporation (President: Toichi Takenaka) has been carrying out refurbishing work on historical wooden architecture in the Chinzan-so Garden (in Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku) such as Choshotei and Gokeian. From September 17, 2010, the company will begin refurbishing work on the Three-Storied Pagoda (“Sanjunoto”), a registered tangible cultural property, and one of the three old pagodas still existing in Tokyo in this garden.

The three old pagodas are the Three-Storied Pagoda in the Chinzan-so Garden, the Five-Storied Pagoda in the previous Kaneiji Temple (in Ueno, Taito-ku), and the Five-Storied Pagoda in Honmonji Temple (in Ikegami, Ota-ku).

This is the first time for refurbishing work to be carried out on the Three-Storied Pagoda, which is thought to have been constructed about 600 years ago, since it was moved from Chikurinji Temple in Hiroshima, in 1925. The copper-plated roof, which has been damaged by the elements over such a long period of time, will be replaced, the structure will be strengthened against earthquakes, and some parts will be repaired. The parts that have not been much damaged will be reused after washing, so the original beauty of the structure can be seen once again.

【About the Three-Storied Pagoda】

The Three-Storied Pagoda in the Chinzan-so Garden was originally constructed at the Chikurinji Temple in Hiroshima. It is believed that Ono no Takamura (802 - 852) constructed the pagoda in the early Heian Period, and that Taira no Kiyomori (1118 – 1181) carried out the first refurbishing work. Study of the architectural style also shows the pagoda to be at least 600 years old. The pagoda was brought to Chinzan-so in 1925 by Baron Heitaro Fujita, the second-generation head of Fujita and Co., Ltd. (founded by Baron Denzaburo Fujita), who received the garden from Field Marshal Prince Yamagata Aritomo. Remarkably, even though it was located in a wooded area, the Three-Storied Pagoda and the sacred tree were spared during fires that spread during air-raids of Waseda on May 25, 1945, and even today, the pagoda rises elegantly in the Mejiro sky, and has become a symbol of Chinzan-so.

【Outline of the project】

Project name Heisei Refurbishing Work of the Three-Storied Pagoda in the Chinzan-so Garden
Work period October 2010 to the end of June 2011
Location 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo
Client Fujita Kanko Inc.
Design/Construction Takenaka Corporation