Saturday, May 5, 2007

Nikko: Toshogu Shrine

This shrine was built by Tokugawa Iemitsu for his grandfather Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first shogun of Japan). My guidebook says it took two years and 15000 artisans.

Left: some fancy buildings.

Below: the five story pagoda just outside the Toshogu shrine. It was apparently donated by a daimyo (fuedal lords, just one notch below the Shogun) in 1650, and rebuilt in 1818 after a fire. The guidebook says each story represents an element: earth, water, fire, wind and heaven, in ascending order.

A fancy building in the complex, you can see the Tokugawa family crest on the finials.

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