The Sanju Pagota was modeled after the Minami Hokke-ji Temple in Nara Japan built in (1571-1602). The Hawaiian replica is three tiered 1 1/2 scale replica and was built of Concrete and Steel. It was constructed in 1966 to venerate the followers of the Buddhist faith and celebrate the Japanese population on the Island.
This building is also architecturally important for using modern building materials in the traditional way of bracketing and building similar to the Byodo-in in Ahuimanu Hawaii.
The Sanju Pagota claims to be the largest pagoda ever built. I don’t know if that is true but it is very tall. At 80 feet (24 meters) from foundation to rooftop and 116 feet (35 meters) to the top of the copper spire it can easily be seen from the nearby Pali Highway.
With closer views you will find that the building is in somewhat poor shape. The cemetery caretakers have faced financial problems and have not been able to properly maintain the structure. It is still quite impressive though.
The Kinkaku-ji, built in 1966 with the nearby Sanju Pagoda, is modeled after the famous Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion) on the grounds of the Rokuonji Temple in Kyoto. Built in (1335-1573)
It is three stories tall or 38 feet (11 meters) and was built using a steel frame and plaster finish. It also is adorned with a finial of a phoenix on its roof. This and the nearby pagoda are used to house cremation urns.
The building seems much less spectacular than its gold painted Japanese cousin since it is in poor shape. The caretakers of the cemetery have had financial problems and have not been able to maintain the building properly. Even in its weathered condition it is still a beautiful building.
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