2018年03月24日

'Minatogawa Jinja' Shonto Shrine standing in the central part of Kobe City was elected to worship 'Kusunoki Masashige', who was a well-known military commander of the Imperial Army in the 14th century.

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Kusunoki Masahige died in a batttle, so-called 'Minatogawa-no-Tatakai', against 'Ashikaga Takauji' who was a 'shogun', a kind of a general of the anti-emperor army. To be more precise, he committed 'hara-kiri' at the very place where this shrine stands now, as he gave up this battle in 1336. His humble tombstone elected here right after the battle had long been neglected since, however this gradually begun to attract people's attention in the Edo Period in the 17th-19th century. The thought of respecting Emperor, which was Japan's traditional philosophy, had revived since the 17th century, so he became widely known as a hero step by step even in the period of 'samurai' government.
*Samurai is a warrior, different from an emperor.
Soon after the end of the samurai government, so-called the 'Edo Period', in the middle of the 19th century, this Shinto shrine was built in the grounds, including his last place, with the total area of 25,000 square meters, in 1872. This constraction work was a national project.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:25 | Tokyo-shrines and temples | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2018年03月19日

The main building of 'Ueno Toshogu' Shinto shrine is a rare building in Tokyo, which survived the Second World War.

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This Shinto shrine was built by 'Todo Taketora', who was a faithful retainer of 'Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first Tokugawa shogun)' and was also known as an expert in the art of castle-building, in his mansion grounds in 1627. The original main building was largely rebuilt by 'Tokugawa Iemitsu (the third Tokugawa shogun)' in 1651, as shown in the first picture.
Tokyo was entirely destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and the fierce air-raid during the Second World War, however this building fortunately survived them. It's not a large building though, the exterior with gold leaves is amazing, and three successive Tokugawa shoguns, Ieyasu, Iemitsu and Yoshinobu, are enshrined here. The second picture shows the adjacent five-storied pagoda of 'Ueno Kan-eiji' Buddhist temple, which was originally built for this Shinto shrine in 1639. This pagoda is the original building too.
In this connection, I may add that the fire from the burning houses of Hiroshima, ignited by the atomic bombing, was brought here to remind many people of the nuclear disaster at the last days of the Second World War.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:15 | Tokyo-shrines and temples | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年01月27日

'Ikegami Honmonji' in Ota-ku, Tokyo, is a Buddhist temple built at the very place where 'Nichiren', the founder of Nichiren sect of Buddhism, passed away in 1282.

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Invalid Nichiren left 'Minobusan', the main temple of Nichiren Buddhism, in Yamanashi Prefecture in 1282, for present Ibaragi Prefecture and Chiba Prefecture.
The purpose of his trip was a hot spring cure combined with visiting his parents' grave. His condition unfortunately deteriorated while traveling in present Ota-ku Tokyo, and he passed away at the house of a leading local follower. Following his dying wish, his ashes were enshrined at Minobusan temple right away though, Ikegami Honmonji temple was also built at his last place at the same time by the local followers to remember the death of this greatest monk. This temple had been very much flourishing since, under the patronage of 'samurai' warriors in the Tokyo region. During the second World War, most buildings of this temple were destroyed because of the air raids. The first picture shows 'Daido' rebuilt in 1964, which is for worshipping Nichiren. The five-storied pagoda in the second picture, which was built in 1608 and fortunately escaped from the disaster of the war, is one of the oldest buildings in Tokyo.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.
通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 15:50 | Tokyo-shrines and temples | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする