A festival began Wednesday at the Kanto region’s oldest wooden pagoda, located in Ota Ward, Tokyo, marking the completion of the first major repairs to the structure since its erection in 1608.
The five-story pagoda was built at the behest of Tokugawa Hidetada’s wet nurse to celebrate Hidetada’s recovery from a serious illness, according to Ikegami Honmonji Temple, in whose grounds the pagoda is located. Hidetada (1579-1632) was the second shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1867).
The major overhaul began in April 1998, after the 29.4-meter-high pagoda, which has been designated an important national cultural property, was found to be tilting about 4 degrees to the northwest. The list was visible to the naked eye.
The repairs were made in time for this year’s 750th anniversary of the foundation of the Nichiren, or Lotus, sect by Buddhist monk Nichiren, according to the temple, one of the four ranking temples of the sect.
As well as Buddhist sermons, there will be a host of entertaining items during the celebration, which lasts until Sunday, including Japanese drum and jazz concerts.
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