2015年08月11日

'Tamozawa Imperial Villa' in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, had been for the Imperial Family for about 50 years.

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This old villa stands in a quiet place surrounded with big cedar trees, within a short walking distance from 'Nikko Toshogu Shrine', World Heritage. Based on a vacation home of a wealthy banker from this region, built in the 19th century, a part of the mansion of the Tokugawa shogun family in Tokyo which was built in the 18th century was relocated here, in addition to that, other new wooden buildings were constructed. These multilayered ways of construction realized a unique unification from the 18th the 20th century. This villa was originally built for the Emperor Taisho, the grand father of the present emperor, then it was handed over to the Emperor Showa, the father of the present emperor.
Even the present emperor stayed here in the last days of the Second World War.
As this was used as a refuge of the royal family during the war, air-raid shelters in the beautiful garden, as well as the device for blackout inside the villa were found.

Licensed tour guide/ travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:19 | Nikko | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年06月27日

"Sozo-no-zo" imaginary elephants, found in "Tosho-gu" in Nikko, were carved from a design by "Kano Tanyu", who had never seen a real elephant.

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There are three decorative warehouses right after passing through the main gate of "Tosho-gu" in Nikko. Various kinds of costumes and goods used for annual events of this Shinto shrine are stored in these brilliant buildings, which were designed after 'Shoso-in" warehouse in "Todai-ji" in Nara. On the gable 'Kami-jinko" warehouse on the left, a pair of elephants are carved as shown in the picture. These are, what is called, "Sozo-no-zo" imaginary elephants.
"Kano Tanyu", who played an important role as an art director when "Tosho-gu" was built, made a design for them even though he had never seen an elephant. Accordingly, their earlobes are inside out and the tails are a little strange.

*Who is "Kano Tanyu":
He was a master painter of the "Kano" school established in Kyoto. The artists of this school had been patronized by top-ranking "samurai" warriors since the 15th century. He worked for the Tokugawa shoguns in Edo, present Tokyo, in the 17th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 12:00 | Nikko | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2011年04月24日

'Taiyuin' in Nikko, the mausoleum of the third shogun 'Tokugawa Iemitsu' who established 'Toshogu' for his grandfather 'Ieyasu', is carefully watched by many Buddhist guardian deities.

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In a dense thicket of cedar trees, there stand twenty-two stately wooden buildings,which are designated as a national treasure or an important cultural property, in the grounds of 'Taiyuin' next to 'Toshogu' in Nikko. Unlike 'Toshogu', the mausoleum of of the first shogun 'Tokugawa Ieyasu', the main building of 'Taiyuin' stands after passing through six beautiful gates of various sizes, which divide the compound into six spaces in 3-D, to give visitors an impression as if they were ascending into heaven. The scary Buddhist image in the picture is 'jikokuten' seen besides 'Nitenmon', the largest two-storied gate. 'Taiyuin' is always watched by many guardian deities like this.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:07 | Nikko | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする