(Divine Prince of Composed Existence)
7th Shōgun, Lord Tokugawa Ietsugu
LOCATION: Zōjō-ji (Shiba Park)
He died at age 6.
The next shōgun, Yoshimune, threw mad loot at Zōjō-ji for the construction of a large mausoleum next to Ienobu’s. The wood carvings and engravings were said to rival those at Nikkō making it a popular sightseeing spot until it was destroyed in the Great Tōkyō Air Raid in 1945.
Ietsugu’s mausoleum, called Yūshōin, was the last great funerary complex built by the shōgunate. Ietsugu’s short reign saw one of the first serious financial crises of the Edo Period. As an austerity measure, Yoshimune opted for a 合祀 gōshi group enshrinement. I don’t know if this is this was an edict, but the practice continued until the fall of the bakufu in 1868. Just to put things into perspective, there were 15 shōguns. We’re at the halfway point now and sadly, there will be no more funerary temples. The rest of this series is going to go by very quickly. lol
Structures of Yūshō-in
|the main hall||destroyed||—|
ai no ma
|in gongen-zukuri architecture, the structure that connects the honden and haiden.||destroyed||—|
|the inner or private worship hall||destroyed||—|
|a latticework fence that forms the border to a temple||destroyed||—|
|The “middle gate” which usually opens from a court yard into the worship hall||destroyed||—|
|portico on the left and right side of a shrine||destroyed||—|
|latticework fence that encloses a temple or shrine||destroyed||—|
|name means inner latticework fence||destroyed||—|
|name means outer latticework fence||destroyed||—|
|entrance to the oku no in||destroyed||—|
|belfry, bell tower||destroyed||—|
|roof over a well, or spring||destroyed||—|
|imperial scroll gate; posthumous name of the deceased hand written by the emperor which marked the official entrance to the funerary temple||destroyed||—|
|main gate, protected by 2 gods||extant, but in awful condition||Tōkyō Prince Hotel|
oku no in nami itabei
|“wave fence” made of planks around the|
oku no in haiden
|worship hall within the inner sanctuary||destroyed||—|
oku no in hōtō
|A copper 2-story pagoda styled funerary urn that houses the remains of the deceased||fair condition||In the Tokugawa Graveyard at Zōjō-ji|
oku no in karamon
|so-called Chinese style gate that provided entry and exit to the tomb of the deceased||destroyed||—|
oku no in nakamon
|presumably the gate to another small fence around the hōtō||destroyed||Some of the stone wall is preserved near the dumpsters of the Prince Hotel|
|water basins for ritual purification||destroyed||—|
|traditional stone lanterns||scattered all over the Kantō area||I suspect some are at Fudō-ji in Tokorozawa|
|copper lanterns||scattered all over the Kantō area||I suspect some are at Fudō-ji in Tokorozawa|
|private “backdoor” entrance to Zōjō-ji for the private use of the shōgun.||extant and in fair condition||Tōkyō Prince Hotel|
Located inside Ietsugu’s complex, was another mortuary temple for the 9th shōgun, Ieshige, who was co-enshrined at Yūshō-in. I’ll talk more about that in a later article.
Nitenmon, the Main Gate
The main gate of many Buddhist temples is a 二天門 nitenmon. The name doesn’t mean “main gate” it means “two heavens” gate. the character 天 ten (“heaven”) refers to the names of the two deities that are housed inside of the gate. Next time you visit an Edo Period temple, see if you can spot this type of gate. Here’s a little background on a famous Nitenmon located at Sensō-ji, a popular tourist destination in Tōkyō (note the connection to the Tokugawa… see what I did there?).
I can’t find any pictures from the before the firebombing, so you’ll have to do with modern pictures.
Imperial Scroll Gate
After walking through the nitenmon (main entrance), you would come to a courtyard which led to the next gate, the imperial scroll gate. By now you know what an imperial scroll gate is, so I’m not going to harp on it. However, apparently the scroll gate of Yūshō-in was considered a masterpiece for its ostentatious color, gold leafing and most of all, for its elaborate wood carvings.
Nakamon and Oku no In
After you passed through the scroll gate, you’d find the bell tower on your right.
Oku no In – The Inner Sanctuary
Not sure what most of these structures are… except for the water basins, etc….
Tamaya – The Graveyard
After passing through the Chinese Gate, we come to the actual graveyard.
What About that Secret Shōgun Door you Mentioned?
Well, yes… there was a special gate for the shōgun which was called 御成門 o-nari mon.
But it wasn’t a secret. O-nari means “presence of the shōgun.”
In fact, it was so famous that even today there is a train station named 御成門駅 Onarimon Eki Onarimon Station. And the neighborhood itself is also called Onarimon.
BTW, I have an article about Onarimon.