Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮: Nikkō Tōshōgū) is a Shinto shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa line of shoguns in Japan. Initially built in 1617, during the Edo period, while Ieyasu's son Hidetada was shogun, it was enlarged during the time of the third shogun, Iemitsu. This Toshogu is located in the city of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture in the northern part of the Kanto region on the island of Honshu. It is part of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ieyasu is enshrined here, and his remains are entombed here.
During the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate carried out stately processions from Edo to the Nikko Toshogu. The shrine's annual spring and autumn festivals reenact these occasions, and are known as "processions of a thousand warriors."
Five structures at Nikko Toshogu are categorized as National Treasures, and three more as Important Cultural Properties . Additionally, two swords in the possession of the shrine are National Treasures, and numerous other objects are Important Cultural Properties.
Famous buildings at the Toshogu include the Yomei-mon, a gate that is also known as "higurashi-no-mon." The meaning of the latter name is that one could look at it until sundown, and not tire of seeing it.
The stable of the sacred horses of the shrine bears a carving of three monkeys, who hear, speak and see no evil (traditional symbol in Chinese and Japanese culture; see see/hear/speak no evil).
Hundreds of stone steps lead through the cryptomeria forest up to the grave of Ieyasu in the Okunoin (inner precincts). A torii at the top bears calligraphy attributed to Emperor Go-Mizunoo. A bronze urn contains the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
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