Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 3 - Tosho-gu (Ueno)

Toshogu at Ueno 2nd February, 2003 - Walking from Benten-do, you can readily arrive at the Tosho-gu shrine. The shrine where Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first unifier of Japan) is enshrined under the gods name Tōshō Daigongen. Actually there are a few of these around (apparently a man or Ieyasu's importance couldn't have enough shrines built after him).

Actually, many of these shrines have peculiar practices - and Ueno's Tosho-gu is no exception. There is a belief here that a certain ritual will help elicit the good-will (of Ieyasu?)... by buying a little thing of string and basically walking backwards and forwards, bending the string over and over again. One hundred times. Hmmm - not on our time budget we don't! Ieyasu god or not.

Posted by PicasaOfcourse - when in Ueno-Koen, you should always pop in and have a chat with good ol' Saigo Takamori (1828-77 AD) who was one the most influential Samurai that was a key (if unlikely) architect and actor in the Meiji Restoration that saw the overthrow of the Tokugawa shogunate and the re-emergence of the power of the Imperial Throne. Not sure why walking his dog has taken on so much importance here - I guess he really loved that dog (and no - don't mistake this for Hachiko... another famous Tokyo dog).

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