Toshogu is a Shinto shrine that was built in 1621 and has a history spanning 400 years. It enshrines Tokugawa
Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate which ushered in a 265-year period of
peace in Japan. The ornately-decorated
main hall has been designated as an important cultural property
by the Japanese government.
| The hawks and the pheasant (in front of the shrine)
Please look at the engraving on the front door. The work by Hidari Jingoro
that shows the appearance of hunting hawks and pheasant. Two white birds
indicated the hawks. The brown pheasant is being caught at their feet.
This work is positioned in front of the shrine because Tokugawa Ieyasu
liked hunting hawks.
|The dragon and the tigers (in front of the shrine)
Please look up for engravings on the front
four poles. These engravings of dragon and tigers, is a work by Hidari
Jingoro. The tigers on the right and left indicate our live lessons. The one on
the right represents leading a positive life with a goal, and the one on the left
represents other than looking forward positively, sometimes looking back and learning
from reflection is necessary as well. Tokugawa Ieyasu was born on the year,
month, day, and time of the Tiger. Tiger is the symbol of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
| The red carp & black scarp (East side of the shrine)
Please look at the engraving
above the door. This is an engraving of red and black
carps, a work of Hidari Jingoro. There
is an expression called "Toryumon" (登龍門/The gateway to success). Legend
has it that when a carp reaches the swift current called
"Ryumon" located upstream of the Yellow River in China, it will
be transformed into a dragon. The engraving was made based on this myth. It is said that if you look at this carp engraving, it will lead
you to success in life.
The crane & the turtle (West side of the shrine)
look at the engraving on the door. This
is an engraving of a crane and a turtle, a work of Hidari Jingoro. Facing the crane on the left side is a Minogame turtle with a straw
raincoat on its back that looks like a tail. A Japanese legend says that “Cranes
live for 1000 years, turtles live for 10,000 years". It is said that you can live longer if you look at this