A tahōtō(多宝塔,lit. many-jewelled pagoda?) is a form of Japanesepagoda found primarily at EsotericShingon and Tendai school Buddhist temples. It is unique among pagodas because it has an even number of stories (two). (The second story has a balustrade and seems habitable, but is nonetheless inaccessible and offers no usable space.) Its name alludes to Tahō Nyorai, who appears seated in a many-jewelled pagoda in the eleventh chapter of the Lotus Sutra. With square lower and cylindrical upper parts, a mokoshi 'skirt roof', a pyramidal roof, and a finial, the tahōtō or the larger daitō was one of the seven halls of a Shingon temple. After the Heian period the construction of pagodas in general declined, and new tahōtō became rare. Six examples, of which that at Ishiyama-dera (1194) is the earliest, have been designated National Treasures. There are no examples in China, whether architectural or pictoral, of anything that resembles the tahōtō, although there is a Song dynasty textual reference to a 'tahōtō with an encircling chamber'.