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Japan Japanese Castles Japanese History Japanese Manners Japanese Shrines & Temples Japanese Subculture Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

I Have a Huge Announcement!

There’s a new service specializing in tourism for Japanese History. It may include beer! Help me spread the word, guys!

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

The Grave of Tokugawa Yoshinobu

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shomyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Iemochi

We’re at the twilight of Tokugawa power in Japan – the 14th shogun, Tokugawa Iemochi.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Onkyo-in

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shintoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieyoshi

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Sex Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Bunkyo-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ienari

Tokugawa Ienari is my favorite shogun. Dude as a straight up player. Watch and learn, children.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Shunmei-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieharu

Tokugawa Ieharu, the lovable but forgettable 10th shogun.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Junshin-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieshige

Today we’ll look at the grave of the 9th shogun, Tokugawa Ieshige — which is basically the grave of the 7th shogun, Ietsugu.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Yutoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Yoshimune

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves

Yusho-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ietsugu

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.

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Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Bunsho-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ienobu

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Joken-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Gen’yu-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Ietsuna

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves

Taiyu-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Iemitsu

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Daitoku-in・the Grave of Tokugawa Hidetada

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Tosho-gu・the Grave of Tokugawa Ieyasu

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.

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Japanese History Japanese Shrines & Temples Tokugawa Shogun Graves Travel in Japan

Tokugawa Funerary Temples

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!