What beautiful memories these particular zigzags conjure up!
These are the vermilion zigzag edges of the pagoda associated with Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. Anyone complaining about August heat in New England just needs to head for Japan in the summer. The very definition of HOT! But no matter, it’s worth it to be there anytime, in this ever-fascinating culture.
This next pagoda edge is far plainer and more rustic.
It’s also much older. It’s the wooden five-story pagoda of Hōryū-ji in Nara, built in the 7th century, one of the oldest wooden buildings in the world. Centuries ago Nara was the capital of Japan, long before Edo, which became Tokyo.
Pagodas have interesting histories and functions, as befits their striking appearance. Zigzags make me think of lightning strikes, and pagodas by their height and isolation readily attract lightning. Many pagodas have a decorated finial at the top of the structure. It’s possible that when made of metal, the finial, sometimes referred to as a “demon-arrester”, also functions as a lightning rod.
I can’t guarantee anything about its demon-arresting qualities, however!