A hōtō is a pagoda consisting of four parts: a low foundation stone, a cylindrical body with a rounded top, a four-sided roof and a finial. Unlike the similar tahōtō it has no enclosed pent roof (mokoshi) around its circular core. Like the tahōtō it takes its name from Buddhist deity Tahō Nyorai. The hōtō was born during the early Heian period, when the Tendai and Shingon sects first arrived in Japan. Indeed, because it does not exist on the Asian continent, it is believed to have been invented in Japan.
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