There’s a new service specializing in tourism for Japanese History. It may include beer! Help me spread the word, guys!
The shogunate is finished… that’s not sad to me. The sad thing is closing out this chapter on a subject that is so personal to me. I also love Yoshinobu because after a hundred years of 微妙 shoguns, we got a guy who represented his era and his pedigree exceptionally. Until the bitter end, Yoshinobu was an aristocrat, but in a time of crisis he took the challenge and helped to save the shogun family line persist until the present day.
We’re at the twilight of Tokugawa power in Japan – the 14th shogun, Tokugawa Iemochi.
Onkyo-in is the grave of the 14th shogun Tokugawa Iesada and his wife Atsu-hime. He was incapable when foreigners knocked on Japan’s door.
Tokugawa Ieyoshi was a pretty much a brown paper bag shogun. There is nothing notable about his rule… until the last year. In the last year, Commodore Perry arrived in Japan with his “Black Ships” and demanded that Japan end its isolationist policy. That’s when the shit hit the proverbial fan.
Tokugawa Ienari is my favorite shogun. Dude as a straight up player. Watch and learn, children.
Tokugawa Ieharu, the lovable but forgettable 10th shogun.
Today we’ll look at the grave of the 9th shogun, Tokugawa Ieshige — which is basically the grave of the 7th shogun, Ietsugu.
Tokugawa Yoshimune is considered one of the greatest shoguns of Edo Bakufu. He initiated financial reforms that most likely made writing the rest of this series on Tokugawa shogun graves infinitely easier. Just as they re-used existing sites, I can re-use existing blogs. Awwwww yeah.
We’ve come to the 7th shogun. His funerary temple was one of the architectural gems of Edo-Tokyo. Sadly, it was the last of these fine structures. From here on out we will only have group enshrinements. It’s the end of an era.
The second greatest funerary complex at Zojo-ji was Bunshoin, the mortuary temple of the 6th shogun, Tokugawa Ienobu.
Almost nothing remains of the site, but I hope to walk you through it today as best as I can.
Last time, I wrote about the 4th shogun, Tokugawa Ietsuna. Today let’s look at the grave of his younger brother, the much more famous Tokugawa Tsunayoshi – the so-called Dog Shogun. If you’ve been to Ueno Park, you may have seen the gate to his tomb. It’s much better preserved that Ietsuna’s and a little more centrally located… kinda.
Most people think that all that remains of Tokugawa Ietsuna’s grave is a small gate in Ueno Park.
They are wrong.
And I’ve got the pictures to prove it.
Taiyu-in is the funerary temple of Tokugawa Iemitsu. It’s located in Nikko next to Tosho-gu. It became the standard for all shogun graves.
Are you ready for this article? Maybe not.
Tokugawa Iemitsu is famous for building Tōshōgū in Nikkō, but he built another masterpiece in Edo for his father. Daitokuin was considered the most beautiful funerary complex at Zōjō-ji. Unfortunately, almost none of it is standing today. So, I’ll attempt to resurrect Daitokuin today.
Not much to say on the topic of Toshogu (and to some degree, Taiyuin) because so much has already been said. The real meat of this series will be in the shrines that we can’t see today.
Today I’m starting a 16 part series describing the graves of all 15 Tokugawa shoguns. If you’re planning to travel to Japan, and Tokyo in particular, you might want to consider visiting these spots. Unfortunately, there isn’t much left to see in Tokyo, but what is remaining is intriguing!