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本文

1  In 2003, as Japan was entering the age of digital broadcasting, six broadcasting companies in Tokyo asked for a 600-meter class broadcasting tower to send digital television signals without interference from high-rise buildings.

 

2  Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest freestanding broadcasting tower at 634 meters, nearly double the height of Tokyo Tower, opened to the public on May 22, 2012. In just seventy-two days, one million visitors had come to see this structure, and the number of visitors during the first six months totaled over three million. The views from the two observation decks, at 350 meters and 450 meters above the ground, take every visitor’s breath away. The tower is 634 meters high partly because 634 may be pronounced “mu-sa-shi,” which was the name used to refer to the area that included the wide stretch of land that can be viewed from Tokyo Skytree, namely, Tokyo and a part of Saitama and Kanagawa.

 

3  This enormous tower is made up of five parts. The first is the tower itself, which is made of steel frames. Second are the two observation decks at two different levels. Third is the 140-meter-tall steel tower called the Gain Tower, located at the very top. The fourth part of Tokyo Skytree is the core column made of reinforced concrete. Finally, the last part is the shaft that surrounds the core column; the elevator and the wiring and plumbing are located there as well.

 

4  Tokyo Skytree was completed after about three years and eight months of construction. Various kinds of cutting-edge technology had to be used in order to meet the challenges of its construction. The first challenge was building the Gain Tower at 500 meters above the ground. Because this was going to be construction at unprecedented heights, the “lift-up method” was implemented. The Gain Tower was built inside the tower shaft and later pulled up through the shaft all the way to the top. This way, construction was not affected by strong winds or rain, and the construction time was much shorter.

 

5  Another challenge in the construction was building a giant tower with a strong enough base on a relatively small area. Towers such as the Eiffel Tower and Tokyo Tower have a square base to sustain their height, but the base of Tokyo Skytree was determined by the shape of the site and constraints created by the subway that runs under the construction area. Thus, an equilateral triangle base was constructed in order to make each side as long as possible to sustain its height. Nevertheless, considering that Tokyo Tower has a square footprint with ninety-five-meter sides for sustaining its 333-meter height, you can easily imagine how difficult it was to build a 634-meter structure on a triangular footprint with sixty-eight-meter sides. The solution was to use a continuous subterranean wall pile foundation with “knuckle walls”. The foundation was made by digging a triangle wall-like hole in the ground under the tower, putting steel cages in it, and pouring concrete into the hole. At the deepest part of the triangle wall piles, they made the knuckle walls, which gripped the underground layer firmly. While the concrete piles of Tokyo Tower were buried twenty meters under the ground, the consecutive triangular walls were buried fifty meters under Tokyo Skytree. As a result, Tokyo Skytree has been built with a very firm base.

 

6  One of the most attractive Japanese features used in Tokyo Skytree, however, is the core column called shin-bashira. The five-story pagodas of Horyu-ji Temple and others gave the architects involved inspiration in the anti-earthquake design of Tokyo Skytree. Shin-bashira is a cylinder made of reinforced concrete and eight meters in diameter, and stands separately from the exterior steel frames. This makes shin-bashira and the exterior move independently during an earthquake, leading to less vibration. The use of shin-bashira is a completely new system of mitigating seismic motion. Moreover, shin-bashira is connected to the steel framing via oil dampers at between 125 and 375 meters above the ground. These devices control the swaying of shin-bashira and can reduce the vibration by up to fifty percent. In addition, shin-bashira includes emergency stairs.

 

7  Is it the technology and height that attract so many tourists? Of course, that is only part of the attraction. It is also how Japanese tradition is blended into the design that makes people fascinated. Sori and mukuri are two key features in Tokyo Skytree’s design. Sori describes how the steel frames from the triangular base arch inward like a Japanese sword as it extends up. Mukuri, on the other hand, describes how the steel frames make arcs. This form of design can be seen in roofs of temples built during the Nara and Heian periods. Moreover, the two exterior lights, which are lit on alternating days, are called iki and miyabi. Iki represents the light blue image of the Sumida River, and miyabi symbolizes the grace of Edo by using the color purple.

 

8  There were already 500-meter class towers in Russia and Canada, but building the highest tower required each member involved in the project to have the utmost pride. Without it, the tower would not have been completed. “Tokyo Skytree” was the name chosen from over 18,000 choices collected from the general public, and it signifies the wish that an environmentally friendly, international city with inspiration for a new culture be created under this tree. The architects, engineers, and builders all put their heart and soul into the construction of Tokyo Skytree, and their legacy will live on as the tower has a crucial role in the development of the city. 

 

 

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Comprehension

  1. What is the main idea of the text?
  2. The construction of Tokyo Skytree employed various kinds of cutting-edge Japanese technology and tradition to overcome many challenges.
  3. Tokyo Skytree was constructed to send digital television signals without interference from high-rise buildings.
  4. Tokyo Skytree was built with a strong enough base on a relatively small area.

 

  1. Complete the following table using the phrases in the box. Change the form of the words if necessary.

1, 2 Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest (1.     ) tower at 634 meters, opened to the public on May 22, 2012.

3 The tower is made up of five parts: the tower itself, two (2.     ), the Gain Tower, the core column, and the shaft.

4 The first challenge was building the (3.     ) at 500 meters above the ground.

5 Another challenge was building the tower on a (4.     ).

6 The tower’s (5.     ) was inspired by the five-story pagodas of Horyuji Temple and others.

7 Features called (6.     ) are used in the construction of the tower.

8 Without the (7.     ) all the people in the project had, the construction would not have been possible.

 

anti-earthquake design     freestanding broadcasting     Gain Tower    great pride

observation deck     relatively small base area     sori and mukuri

 

  1. Write T for true or F for false for each statement.
  2. Tokyo Skytree has two observation decks, at 350 meters and 450 meters above the ground. (   )
  3. The Gain Tower, which is located at the top of Tokyo Skytree, is 140 meters tall. (   )
  4. It took about three years and eight months to construct Tokyo Skytree. (   )
  5. It was not so difficult to build a 634-meter structure on a relatively small area because they used various kinds of cutting-edge technology. (   )
  6. The architects created the anti-earthquake design of Tokyo Skytree by studying the five-story pagodas of Horyu-ji Temple and others. (   )
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和訳

東京スカイツリー:天空にある集いの場

 

[1]  2003年,日本がデジタル放送の時代に入ろうとしていたときに,東京の6つの放送会社は,高層ビルによる電波障害を起こさずに,地上波デジタルテレビ信号を中継放送する600メートル級の放送塔を求めたのだった。

 

[2]  東京スカイツリーは自立式の世界一高い放送塔で634メートルあり,それは東京タワーのほとんど2倍の高さで,2012年5月22日に一般に公開された。たった72日間で,100万人の観光客がこの建造物を見物に来て,最初の6か月間の観光客の数は合計300万人以上になった。地上350メートルと450メートルの2つの展望台からの眺めは,すべての観光客が息をのむものである。その塔が634メートルの高さなのは,1つには634が「むさし」と発音されるからだろうし,「武蔵」は東京スカイツリーから見ることができる広く開けた土地,つまり東京と埼玉・神奈川の一部を含む地域を呼ぶのに用いられた名前だったからである。

 

[3]  この巨大なタワーは5つの部分から構成されている。第1のものは塔本体で,鋼鉄の骨組みで造られている。2つの異なる高さにある2か所の展望台が2番目である。ゲイン塔と呼ばれる高さ140メートルの鋼鉄の塔が3番目で,まさに最上部に設置されている。東京スカイツリーの4番目の部分は,鉄筋コンクリートで造られた中心の柱である。おわりに,最後の部分は中心の柱を囲むシャフト(エレベーターが上下する空間)で,エレベーターと電気配線と上下水道設備もそこに設置されている。

 

[4]  東京スカイツリーは約3年8か月の建設工事の後に完成した。さまざまな種類の最先端の技術が,建設の難題に立ち向かうために用いられなければならなかった。第1の難題は地上500メートルの高さにゲイン塔を建設することだった。これが前例のない高所での建設工事になる予定だったので,「リフトアップ方式」が実行された。ゲイン塔は塔のシャフトの内側で建設されて,その後に途中ずっとシャフトを通って最上部まで引き上げられた。こうして,建設は強風や雨に影響されなかったために,建設工期はずっと短くなったのだった。

 

[5]  建設工事のもう1つの難題は,比較的狭い地域に十分に強固な基礎のある巨大な塔を建設することだった。エッフェル塔や東京タワーのような塔には,その高さを支える四角い基底があるが,東京スカイツリーの基底は敷地の形と建設地域の下を走る地下鉄によってもたらされる制約によって決定された。こうして,その高さを支えるために各辺ができるだけ長くなるように,正三角形の基底が建設された。それでもやはり,東京タワーはその333メートルの高さを支えるために1辺95メートルの正方形の占有面積があることを考慮すると,1辺68メートルの三角形の占有面積の上に634メートルの建造物を建設するのが,いかに難しいことか容易に想像できるだろう。その解決法は,「節つきの壁」のついた,連続した地中の壁の形をした杭打ちの基礎(=地中連続壁工法)を使うことだった。その基礎は,塔の地下に三角形の壁のような穴を掘り,その中に鋼鉄のかごを入れ,穴にコンクリートを注ぎ込んで作ったものだ。三角形の壁の基礎杭の最深部では,それらが節つきの壁になっていて,それが地下の地層をしっかりとつかんでいた。東京タワーのコンクリートの基礎杭は地下20メートルに埋められたが,この三角形の連続壁は東京スカイツリーの下50メートルに埋められた。結果として,東京スカイツリーは非常に堅い基礎をつけて建造された。

 

[6]  しかし,東京スカイツリーに用いられた最も魅力のある日本的な特徴の1つは,「心柱」と呼ばれる中心の柱である。法隆寺や他の五重塔が,東京スカイツリーの耐震設計において,関係する設計者たちに素晴らしい着想を与えた。心柱は鉄筋コンクリート製の円筒で,直径が8メートルあり,外側の鋼鉄の骨組みとは別々に立っている。このため,地震の間は心柱と外側が独自に動いて,震動がより少なくなる。心柱の使用は地震運動を軽減する全く新しい方式である。さらに,心柱は地上125メートルと375メートルの間でオイルダンパーによって鋼鉄の骨組みに接続されている。これらの装置は心柱の揺れを抑制し,震動を50パーセントまで減少させることができる。加えて,心柱には非常階段も含まれている。

 

[7]  それほど多くの観光客をひきつけるのは,その技術と高さなのだろうか。もちろん,それは魅力のほんの一部にすぎない。人々を魅了するのはまた,日本の伝統がどのようにそのデザインに調和されているかである。「そり」と「むくり」は東京スカイツリーのデザインの2つの重要な特徴である。そりは,三角形の基底から出る鋼鉄の骨組みが,上に伸びる日本刀のように内側にどのように弓形に曲がっているかを述べている。他方,むくりは鋼鉄の骨組みがどのように弧を描いているかを述べている。この様式のデザインは,奈良時代と平安時代に建立された寺の屋根に見られるものだ。さらに,2つの外側の照明が日々交互に点灯されて「粋」と「雅」と呼ばれる。「粋」は隅田川の淡い青のイメージを象徴し,「雅」は紫色を使って江戸の優美さを象徴している。

 

[8]  500メートル級の塔はすでにロシアとカナダにあったが,最も高い塔を建設することはプロジェクトに関係する各構成員に最高の自尊心を持つように要求したのだった。それがなければ,塔は完成されなかっただろう。東京スカイツリーは一般の人々から集められた18,000以上の選択肢から選ばれた名前であり,新しい文化のための刺激がある環境に優しい国際都市が,この木の下に創造されるという願望を表している。設計者,技術者,建築業者は皆,東京スカイツリーの建設に全身全霊を注ぎ込んだので,塔がこの都市の発展に重要な役割をもつ間,彼らの遺産はずっと残ることだろう。

解答例

Comprehension

  1. What is the main idea of the text?
  2. The construction of Tokyo Skytree employed various kinds of cutting-edge Japanese technology and tradition to overcome many challenges.
  3. Tokyo Skytree was constructed to send digital television signals without interference from high-rise buildings.
  4. Tokyo Skytree was built with a strong enough base on a relatively small area.

 

  1. Complete the following table using the phrases in the box. Change the form of the words if necessary.

1, 2 Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest (1. freestanding broadcasting ) tower at 634 meters, opened to the public on May 22, 2012.

3 The tower is made up of five parts: the tower itself, two (2. observation decks ), the Gain Tower, the core column, and the shaft.

4 The first challenge was building the (3. Gain Tower ) at 500 meters above the ground.

5 Another challenge was building the tower on a (4. relatively small base area ).

6 The tower’s (5. anti-earthquake design ) was inspired by the five-story pagodas of Horyuji Temple and others.

7 Features called (6. sori and mukuri ) are used in the construction of the tower.

8 Without the (7. great pride ) all the people in the project had, the construction would not have been possible.

 

anti-earthquake design     freestanding broadcasting     Gain Tower    great pride

observation deck     relatively small base area     sori and mukuri

 

  1. Write T for true or F for false for each statement.
  2. Tokyo Skytree has two observation decks, at 350 meters and 450 meters above the ground. ( T )
  3. The Gain Tower, which is located at the top of Tokyo Skytree, is 140 meters tall. ( T )
  4. It took about three years and eight months to construct Tokyo Skytree. ( T )
  5. It was not so difficult to build a 634-meter structure on a relatively small area because they used various kinds of cutting-edge technology. ( F )
  6. The architects created the anti-earthquake design of Tokyo Skytree by studying the five-story pagodas of Horyu-ji Temple and others. ( T )
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