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Sakyamuni Pagoda, 02 A Blessed Pagoda

This is a four-part series of short, 20-minute documentaries about the famous Sakyamuni Pagoda in Ying County, Shangxi Province, China, which is the tallest wooden Pagoda in the world. As I cannot make a playlist out of the films I have had to embed all four of them separately here, with an introduction to each.


The second of the films looks at what factors have contributed to the survival of the Pagoda for nearly a millenium. First of all it has a very robust construction, with mortise and tenon joints and brackets, which allow it to absorb much of the motion caused by winds and earthquakes by swaying slightly. It is pointed out that all the other buildings in the area are only one story high, owing to the frequency of earthquakes in the area, but still the Pagoda has survived.


Secondly, presumably by luck, it has escaped fire; thirdly, the other great destroyer of wooden structures, insects, are notably few and far between, maybe because of the swallow poulation that resides there; and fourthly the structure has been maintained by the local Buddhist population, which sees to its cleaning and upkeep.

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