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The Pagoda

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The Pagoda

Each story of the pagoda1(宝塔) is basically a square box with no bottom, built around twelve outer pillars, or gawabashira. The pagoda as a whole is, in essence, five stacked boxes.

Since each story is smaller than the one beneath it, the placement of the gawabashira moves inward as one proceeds up the pagoda, meaning that horizontal beams are needed to support the gawabashira of each story above the first.

In fact, these pillars rest on horizontal bases, which in turn are supported by taruki --- slanting2(倾斜的) beams that run from the inside of the structure diagonally downward to the outside, where they support the eaves.

The weight of the upper story, pushing down on the inner ends of the taruki, would cause the outer ends to rise if there were no counterweight. The heavy tiled roof of the eaves performs precisely3 this function. In short, the taruki functions as a lever arm, while the top of the gawabashira serves as the fulcrum4(支点).

The story above bears down on the inner end of the lever, and the overhanging roof balances this load at the outer end. or, to put it another way, the heavy eaves are in effect sustained by the story above.

When one reaches the uppermost level, of course, there is no story above to counterbalance the overhang.

1 pagoda

n.宝塔(尤指印度和远东的多层宝塔),(印度教或佛教的)塔式庙宇

参考例句:

The ancient pagoda is undergoing repairs.那座古塔正在修缮中。

The pagoda is reflected upside down in the water.宝塔影子倒立在水里。

2 slanting

倾斜的,歪斜的

参考例句:

The rain is driving [slanting] in from the south. 南边潲雨。

The line is slanting to the left. 这根线向左斜了。

3 precisely

adv.恰好,正好,精确地,细致地

参考例句:

It's precisely that sort of slick sales-talk that I mistrust.我不相信的正是那种油腔滑调的推销宣传。

The man adjusted very precisely.那个人调得很准。

4 fulcrum

n.杠杆支点

参考例句:

Give me a fulcrum on which to rest,and I will move the earth.给我一个支承的支点,我就会搬动地球。

The decision is the strategic fulcrum of the budget.这一决定是预算案的战略支点。

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