Toshogu Shrine, Ueno Park, Wntrance
Founded in 1627 in memory of Ieyasu Tokugawa, our Shogun ('gawa'
= 'river'). Present buildings date to 1651. Moved to present site.
Come here to pay respects to the man who made Edo (present-day
Tokyo) the seat of his government and thus elevated the small village
to the most important city in the country. The only shrine in Tokyo
that's been designated a National Treasure, Toshogu Shrine was erected
in 1651 and is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa
shogunate. Like Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, it was built by Ieyasu's
grandson, Iemitsu, and boasts some of the same richly carved, ornate
design favored by the Tokugawas. Remarkably, it survived the civil war
of 1868, the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, and even World War II.
The pathway to the shrine is lined with massive stone lanterns, as
well as 50 copper lanterns donated by daimyo (feudal lords) from all
over Japan. Inside the shrine, you'll see some exquisite art,
including murals by a famous Edo artist, Kano Tan-yu, and samurai
armor worn by Ieyasu. On a more somber note, a display on the grounds
appeals for world peace, with graphic photos of Hiroshima following
its destruction by the atom bomb and of victims dead and alive.
Photo a30, 1987