Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Sunday, May 22, 2011

So-mon Gate of Daitokuin

So-mon 6

There are many amazing things in Japan. Things that I find out much more about long after seeing them.

So-mon 3

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.

So-mon 1

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 9

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.

So-mon 4

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.

So-mon 7

Only one side of So-mon has statues. The Nio guardians are quite impressive. This is Ungyo, who represents latent strength.

So-mon 8

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.

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