2010年09月01日

One of the most well known guiding motto for the Japanese, 'Mi-zaru, Kika-zaru, Iwa-zaru', literally 'the see-not, hear-not and speak-not monkeys', stems from this carving on the stable of Tosho-gu shrine in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture.

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As horses are thought to be a divine animal in Japan, stables can be seen in many shrine compounds in the country,however the stable of Tosho-gu shrine in Nikko is exceptional. On the upper part of this stable, only one building of plain wood among many precious structures in this mausoleum, eight scenes of the carvings of monkeys are engraved. Each scene describes life of monkeys to teach people how to carry on their lifetimes properly. The three monkeys in the picture are the most famous one among them, which advise us 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' when we are little. It's better for children to live nothing to do with vices.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 06:41 | Nikko | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月31日

'Taiyu-in', standing adjacent to 'Tosho-gu' shrine in Nikko, is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate, in the middle of the 17th century.

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The third shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu loved and respected his grandfather Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, and so he completed 'Tosho-gu' shrine for his grand father. On the other hand, Iemitsu ordered his son, the fourth shogun Ietsuna,to build his mausoleum next to Tosho-gu shrine by will. Accordingly, the main structures of Taiyu-in are facing the direction toward Tosho-gu shrine as if he is still venerating his grandfather. Many buildings including some national treasures have remained intact since their completions in the 17th century.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki

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posted by masahisa at 04:18 | Nikko | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月30日

'Yomei-mon' gate is a notable of the wooden structures of 'Tosho-gu' shrine in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture.

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'Tosho-gu' shrine in Nikko, an ideal location for the excursion from Tokyo,saw the groundbreaking ceremony early in the 17th century following the will of 'Tokugawa Ieyasu' who was the founder of the longest and the most stable Tokugawa shogunate samurai government. It had come to the completion by the elaborate effort of 'Tokugawa Iemitsu', the third shogun, greatly thanks to the variety of generous donations from powerful feudal lords of the nation and some foreign countries. This vast mausoleums are made up of luxurious and splendid structures of wood, which are very rare in the history of Japan. The magnificent structure in the picture is 'Yomei-mon' gate designated as a national treasure. There are more than 500 carvings engraved on the gate, being put all the best craftsmanship and ornamentation of those days. As a result it had come to be commonly known by the name of 'Higurashi-no-mon' meaning the gate that nobody would get tired of looking at all day long.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki
posted by masahisa at 06:38 | Nikko | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする