2012年07月15日

"Kanei-ji" temple in Ueno, Tokyo, is the head temple of the "Tendai" Sect in the Kanto Region, as well as the family temple of the Tokugawa shoguns' family, together with "Zojo-ji" temple in Shiba, Tokyo.

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"Kanei-ji" Buddhist temple, where six shoguns out of fifteen successive shoguns take their final resting place, was built by "Tenkai", the high-ranking Buddhist priest of "Tendai" Sect, in the 17th century. He was patronized and venerated by the Tokugawa family. This temple had retained strong religious power , supervising even "Hiei-zan" temple in Kyoto and Nikko-san" temple in Nikko, as the head temple of "Tendai" Sect until the Meiji restoration in the 19th century.
Present Ueno Park, National Museum and Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music used to be a part of the precincts of this temple, however most buildings were reduced to ashes during the battle of Ueno between Tokugawa's feudal government's troops and the Emperor's troops in the 19th century.
There still remain some important buildings that were a part of this temple in and around Ueno Park.
The first picture shows the five-storied pagoda built in the 17th century and "Chokugaku-mon" gate, which stands in front of the old mausoleum of the 4th shogun Tokugawa Ietsuna, is shown in the second picture.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:59 | 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

2011年08月21日

Genroku-Ako Incident, also known as 'Chushingura', the result of which was 'harakiri' suicide of 47 'ronin' lordless samurais, still long remains in Japanese people's minds.

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Asano Takuminokami, a feudal lord in present Hyogo Prefecture, unexpectedly struck at Kira Kozukenosuke who was a feudal lord too, with his sword the inside of Edo Castle in 1701. Although the reason for the bloodshed was unknown, the slasher was immediately commanded to commit hara-kiri and his fief was confiscated because the castle grounds was a residence of Tokugawa Shogun and so it was thought to be a sacred place. On the other hand, the counterpart received no punishment for that incident without any interrogation. This unfair decision triggered off the revenge on Kira Kozukenosuke by killing by 47 'ronin' lordless samurais out of around 300 former retainers of Asano Takuminokami one and half years after. Then feudal government strived to settle the revenge case by ordering these 47 ronins to commit seppuku suicide,which was thought honorable, after long and careful consideration. The common people of the day sung the praise of their behavior as a typical of the samurai spirit, so-called bushido,and even now there are no Japanese who don't know this incident. The picture above shows 'sanmon' gate of Sengaku-ji Temple in Minato Ward, Tokyo, where the 47 loyalists and their lord sleep. The grave-posts in the picture below attract many visitors throughout the country every day.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahiosa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久

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posted by masahisa at 10:45 | 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

2011年07月30日

A haunted Shinto shrine 'Oiwa-inari' in Yotsuya, Tokyo, has something to do with 'Yotsuya kaidan', a horror story written in the Edo era.

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'Yotsuya-kaidan' is Japan's well-known ghost story for 'kabuki' play written by 'Tsuruya Nanboku', a noted author, early in the 19th century. He created this masterpiece according to some facts took place at that time: a miserable wife named 'Oiwa' killed by her unfaithful husband, an executed couple whose bodies were fastened on a door with nails and the like. This script comes to the conclusion that the husband of 'Oiwa' was driven insane to death by her ghost. Her strong passion for revenge might have led her to span the gap back to this world. This small Shinto shrine in the picture is standing in the corner of her old house and is said to be built by her relatives to ease the grudge of her. Her wondering soul with full of the bitter is really pacified?

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 09:04 | 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