Nara Temple Celebrates Completion of East Pagoda Repair

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Guests attend a ceremony to celebrate the completion of repairs to the East Pagoda at Yakushiji Temple in Nara City on Friday.

NARA — Yakushiji Temple held a ceremony on Friday to commemorate extensive repairs of the East Pagoda.

About 2,000 guests were invited to the ceremony at the World Heritage site in Nara City to celebrate the completion of the large-scale upgrade to the 34-meter-tall pagoda. It was the first such upgrade to the East Pagoda in about 110 years.

The East Pagoda is the only remaining structure at the temple from when Yakushiji Temple was built in the Nara period (710-784). The temple and the government initiated a project to completely disassemble and reassemble the pagoda, which comprises about 13,000 parts. The project cost more than ¥2.8 billion.

Friday’s celebration included a ceremony to imbue a statue representing Buddha’s life, which is housed in the pagoda, with a soul.

“We’d like to pass down the East Pagoda to future generations as a world treasure,” said Choin Kato, the chief steward of the temple, in his speech.

The ceremony will be held through Tuesday, and the pagoda will be open to the public starting Friday.