This novel is a landmark in Japanese literature, widely known, read, and beloved. Sometimes known as “The Five-Story Pagoda,” it tells the story of Jubei, a carpenter and craftsman, who dreams of building a pagoda for the Abbot of the Kannoji Temple. Despite his poverty, low station, and poor reputation—he is known as “the slouch”— Jubei’s determined and uncompromising allegiance to his own vision bring him the possibility of raising a great work for the ages … but will it stand against the howling demons of a tropical typhoon?
Rohan Kōda’s The Pagoda (Gojūnotō, 五重塔) first appeared in installments in 1891-1892. This first English translation was published in 1909. Sakae Shioya, the translator, was the author of When I Was a Boy in Japan (1906).
ISBN 978-1-60962-242-8 ebook
carpenter, builder, five-story pagoda, Jubei, Genta
Fiction | Japanese Studies
Kōda, Rohan and Koda, Nariyuki, "The Pagoda" (2022). Zea E-Books Collection. 121.
Written by Rohan Kōda and published 1891-92. This English translation published by Tokyo Okura & Co. 1909.