NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/5/11


樗谿神社 Oochidani-jinja Ochidani Shrine

Jp En

Ochidani Shrine in Uemachi, Tottori City, Tottori Prefecture is a historic shrine. Walking up to the inner end of a narrow path off the main road, you will find a simple but distinguished-looking shrine building among fir and shii trees. The shrine was built in 1650 by the first lord of the Tottori domain, Ikeda Mitsunaka, to worship his grand-grand father, Tokugawa Ieyasu, thus it was called Toshogu or Tosho Daigongen in the Edo period (1603-1868). However, in the Meiji period (1868-1912) it was renamed to Ochidani Shrine according to the government’s policy of the separation of Shinto and Buddhism.

The solemn-looking Honden hall (the main hall) standing on white pebbled ground, the Chu-mon Gate in Hira-Karamon style (with bargeboards at each end), the Haiden hall (oratory), the Heiden hall (where offerings are presented to gods) are all nationally designated as Important Cultural Properties. The wood carvings of a hawk on the door of the Honden hall is said to be made by Hidari Jingoro, the master sculptor in the Edo period.

The Ochidani River flowing through the precinct is famous as the habitat of Japanese fireflies. After the sunset in early summer, the precinct turns into a fantasy.
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2006/11/29


日光東照宮(世界遺産) Nikkou-Toushougu(Sekai-isan) Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the World Heritage

Jp En

Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Tochigi Pref. was built in 1617 by the 2nd Successive Shogun Hidetada to enshrine Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. 20 years after its establishment, the 3rd successive Shogun Iemitsu reformed the shrine into today’s gorgeous complex of the buildings. 42 buildings are now designated as National Treasures or national Important Cultural Properties, among which are 35 buildings built at Iemitsu’s modification work, including Honsha (central shrine) and Yomeimon Gate, and many other buildings built before or after the modification or dedicated later by feudal lords, including Five Storied Pagoda and stone Torii Gate. Toshogu was registered as a World Heritage in 1999 as a part of “Shrines and Temples of Nikko.” There are also a lot of famous paintings and sculptures including the “Nakiryu (Crying Dragon)”, a painting on the ceiling which makes a sound like a crying when people clap their hands under the dragon, the “Sleeping Cat,” the most famous sculpture made by Jingoro Hidari. Sculptures of “Sansaru (Three Monkeys)” are put on the crossbar of the Shinkyu (sacred stable), where the horses Ieyasu used in the Battle of Sekigahara are enshrined. A monkey has been thought to be a guardian of a horse since early days. The Three Monkeys hiding each respectively their ears, eyes and mouth, representing the Buddhist doctrine “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil,” have become a symbol of Nikko.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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