Three Wise Monkeys
At the Toshugu shrine, there are many intricate painted wood engraving in this impresive mausoleum of the Tokugawa Ieyasu Shogun who died in 1616.
My all time favorite carving would be that of the Three Wise Monkeys.
"See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."
Other cravings included many creatures, animals and birds of heavy Chinese mythological influence.
Another popular one is the sleepy cat "Nemuri Neko" watchful over one of the doorway to the many temples and shrines in this worship complex.
Keeweechic's Nikko - Japan
I read that the Japanese apparently have an expression that you cannot say "Kekko" (meaning magnificent) until you have seen Nikko. The national park is certainly that, not to mention the most popular of all 27 national parks scattered throughout Japan. The park spreads across 200,000 acres taking in majestic mountains and picturesque lakes. Some of the most famous Nikko mountains are Mt. Okushirane (2,578m) , Mt. Nantai, Mt. Nasu, and Mt. Hiuchi. To reach Nikko will take you less than 2 hours by train from Tokyo. Once arriving, it is like stepping into a world of tranquility and sheer natural beauty. There are many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking and climbing trails, not to mention excellent fishing. In winter, there is cross-country skiing and ice skating. There are also many hot springs in this park.
Nikko, Japan is known historically as a religious centre in Japan. It is said that a Buddhist priest named Shodo Shonin came to Nikko and crossed the Sacred Bridge over the Daiya River and a legend has it that Shonin earnestly recited a Buddhist Sutra to enable him to cross over to the magnificent mountains and over to the other side. The old man in white clothes with a white beard appeared and tossed into the air two snakes, one green and one red, which then formed a bridge. Shonin was then able to cross the river on the backs of the two serpents and continued on his pilgrimage to Mt. Nantai. In 1636, the "Sacred Bridge" was built at this spot in order to be used by the shogun and his messengers to cross the river. Unfortunately in 1902 floods destroyed the bridge but it was rebuilt in 1907.
Toshogu is said to be the most popular Shrine in Japan to visit - it was certainly quite remarkable. It was built as a shrine and mausoleum to deify Ieyasu Tokugawa (1543-1616), founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603-1868). Toshogu is famous for the ornate carvings which decorate the buildings both inside and outside.
Approaching Nikko you will see many large Japanese cedar trees, a lot of which are over 350 years old. Thousands of them are all around the shrines and roads leading to neighbouring villages.
Nikko is a place of sacred beauty with rich history. Majestic temples were built to honour the gods. Devout priests performed spiritual ceremonies here and it was a great drawcard for the powerful seeking tranquillity .
Photos which are taken by myself and all headings are copyright and digitally marked. Please do not use them without permission. Thanks. (c) keeweechic 2001-2006 (copyright)