Sunday, May 22, 2011
So-mon Gate of Daitokuin
There are many amazing things in Japan. Things that I find out much more about long after seeing them.
One such thing is this gate. It is called So-mon and once was the entrance to the mausoleum for Tokugawa Hidetada, second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The mausoleum and surrounding architecture were built in 1632. Like many things in Japan, it burned down during WWII. Four gates were left. Three were moved to Fudo-ji Temple in Saitama and Tokugawa Hidetada was reburied after the war.
So-mon is in Shiba-koen next to Zojo-ji main complex. Japanese Castle Explorer has a great photo of what it looked like when the mausoleum was still there. So much has changed since then.
The gates survived because they were far enough away from the mausoleum. The details on So-mon hint at what the mausoleum must have looked like with lacquered pillars and golden trim.
Only one side of So-mon has statues. The Nio guardians are quite impressive. This is Ungyo, who represents latent strength.
The second guardian is Agyo, who represents overt strength.
These photos are from my first visit to Shiba-koen in Tokyo back in December, 2010.