Nagasaki University Library [High-Quality Image Collection]
Japanese Version
424 Five Story Pagoda of Nikko Toshogu Shrine (2)
No: 424
Creator: Ogawa, Kazumasa
Area: Nikko
Album: Ogawa, Kazumasa (Album)
Color: color
Size: 197x252
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  At the top of the approach to Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a large stone torii gate, dedicated by Kuroda Chikuzen no Kami Nagamasa in 1618. The pillars supporting the giant nine-meter-tall gate had a circumference of 3.6 m. It is one of the largest stone gates built during the Edo Period. Visitors passing through the gate see the Five-Story Pagoda on the left. The first Five-Story Pagoda, funded by the feudal lord of Obama in Wakasa (present-day Fukui Prefecture), Sakai Tadakatsu, was built in 1650. Tadayuki, a descendant of Tadakatsu, rebuilt the tower in 1818, three years after it was destroyed in a fire. The tower is approximately 36 m tall. Inside, a central pillar of 60 cm in diameter hangs from the fourth floor, attached with chains. It is suspended in the air about 10 cm above the foundation in order to absorb tremors caused by earthquakes. All around the tower's first floor are decorative statues of the twelve signs of the Chinese and Japanese zodiac, indicating the wind directions. The cedar trees behind the tower have grown as tall as the building.