Skip to main content

Nikko Toshogu Shrine: Day 3

We had  five hours until our next check-in, so we went back to Toshogu again, but this time we were able to see everything we wanted to see – I don’t care what anybody says, you cannot see all of Toshogu in one day. 
In keeping in line with the general theme of this blog I will write a little bit about this World Heritage – it’s a shrine and a temple, but more of shrine in my opinion.   Nikko is the soul of Japan.  
For starters, the family crest needs to be not only recognized, but understood.   The Crest of Tokugawa family which is the Three Hollyhock Leaves was selected by Ieyasu Tokugawa, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate.   The gilded crest carved on columns, pillars, panels, utensils, treasures, etc., seems to symbolize 300 year-long Tokugawa Government prosperity. 
2009_0417hollylock0066
This symbol was not only revered but respected all over the world, even by governments as far as the Netherlands.  This man was truly loved admired and respected, and even esteemed by his own enemies. 
Japan!  Where is your dignity today?
Before moving any further what readers need to understand is that Kyoto does not represent the true essence of how shrines used to be built, never let anybody fool you.  The original shrines were very colorful and inlaid with gold and highly ornamental. Most foreigner, as well as Japanese, who visit Kyoto fawn over and admire such edifies that are almost entirely unauthentic, thus  failing to recognize the truth behind the design.  
Visiting Nikko Toshogu one can capture the essence of how a real shrine was built hundreds , perhaps even thousands of years ago.   The crest and the original construction of shrines is the foundation for understanding Toshogu, and Japanese history.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Shin-Okubo: Little Korea

So I finally got around to going up there to Shin-Okubo,  the land of Seoul via the Yamanote Line.  Been putting this trip off for years for personal reasons;  I am not a fan of Hanlleyu.      I knew why I came up this way, and for none other reason than the food, and maybe to bask in the nausea of Korean romanticist who steal Japanese Jukujo's souls.    But honestly, I like spicy food and stews and pickled vegetables that challenge my taste buds.    I also love the little funky cafes that line the main thoroughfares and alley ways, each with their own little eclectic menus and interior decor.     This place is Korea.  





Shin-Okuba represents more than just a place to relish in Korean culinary delights and K-pop culture, but a place where Koreans can express themselves through their culture.    You can feel the local vibe in the air as you're walking down narrow walkways and footpaths.    I have personally been to mainland Korea six times, so a lot of the nostalgia was there …

August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, especially  in places like Tohoku and Kanto regions.  August is also  the most contentious month of the year in Japan; with the end of the war and war-related guilt.    Then there's the great exodus back home for millions of Japanese.   Obon season is what it's called in Japan, and it's  where families return to their hometowns to remember their ancestors and to spend time with loved ones.  Gravestones are visited, cleaned, and washed; rice or alcohol is often placed on  miniature altars next to a  headstone.  This is a way for Japanese to reconnect with their roots; a way for them to stay grounded and founded in the ways of tradition and cultural protocol.   

For the foreign tourist, some places will be overcrowded and expensive to reach; for Japanese, this is normal and can't be helped.   Wherever you go there will be lines and h…

Japan Board of Education: Amazing Grace...?

Japan Board of Education Textbook.
Amazing Grace
Shuken Shuppan  Polestar textbook English Communication

Preface:  Japanese / Japan is  one of the leading donors in humanitarian aid around the world.   They have donated billions of yen to charities, developing countries, and startup business to just about every country on the globe.  Some Japanese have even taken matters to the extreme  to the point of poking their noses into hotspot areas like Palestine and Isreal, things the Japanese may want to avoid.  Had Japan shared its borders with an ethnic minority with its own government, the relative peace and calm of this country would be questionable.   No other country can be like nor emulate Japan.   So, where does this spirit of charity and altruism come from exactly?   Why do the Japanese feel they need to save the whole world, while caring very little for its own people?   It's the Board of Education...?  The essay below is one such example of what Japanese kids learn in school,…