Japan through cigarette case scenes

Nikko Tosho-gu

Nikko Tosho-gu (日光東照宮) is a Shinto shrine located in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan. It is part of the "Shrines and Temples of Nikko", a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tosho-gu is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. It was 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. Ieyasu is enshrined there, where his remains are also entombed. This shrine was built by Tokugawa retainer Todo Takatora.

During the Edo period, the Tokugawa shogunate carried out stately processions from Edo to the Nikko Tosho-gu along the Nikko Kaido. The shrine's annual spring and autumn festivals reenact these occasions, and are known as "processions of a thousand warriors." Also part of the beauty is the row of majestic trees lining the roadway, termed the Cedar Avenue of Nikko.

Five structures at Nikko Tosho-gu are categorized as National Treasures of Japan, 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 Tosho-gu include the richly decorated Yomeimon, a gate that is also known as "higurashi-no-mon". The latter name means that one could look at it until sundown, and not tire of seeing it. Carvings in deep relief, painted in rich colors, decorate the surface of the structure.

Two postcards depicting the structures of Tosho-gu shrine: the bell tower (left) and the Yomeimon gate (right).

Cigarette case by Fujii Yoshitoyo (from my collection), with the same scenes.

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