Hidari Jingoro

Hidari Jingoro

Product Description

Hidari Jingoro was born in Osaka, many say.

Hidari Jingoro was a possibly fictitious Japanese artist, sculptor and carpenter. Although various studies suggest he was active in the early Edo-era (around 1596-1644), there are controversies about the historical existence of the person. Jingoro is believed to have created many famous deity sculptures located throughout Japan, and many legends have been told about him. His famous nemuri-neko ("sleeping cat") carving is located above the Kuguri-mon Gate amidst the sacred mountain shrines and temples of Nikko, Japan. Amongst these shrines and temples is Nikko Toshogu, a shrine that honors the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Jingoro was a famous Edo-era artist, designer, sculpturer, carpenter, and architect. After someone cut his right hand, he learnt to work with his left hand and became Hidari Jingoro (Hidari means "left").

Stories about Jingoro are spread in wide regions in Japan. According to one, he once saw a woman of such exceptional beauty that he made a sculpture of her. Jingoro begins to drink in the company of the sculpture, and it begins to move, following Jingor˘'s lead. At first it had no emotion and could only imitate Jingoro's movements. However, when he places a mirror in front of the sculpture, the woman's spirit enters and it comes to life.

A Toshogu is any Shinto shrine in which Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined with the name Tosho Daigongen. Ieyasu was the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate (1603-1868), which is the third and last of the shogunal governments in Japanese history. It is part of Shrines and Temples of Nikko UNESCO World Heritage site.

Toshogu shrines are found throughout Japan. The most famous Toshogu is located in Nikk˘ in Tochigi Prefecture. It is one of Japan's most popular destinations for tourists.

Ieyasu's son, the second shogun Hidetada, ordered the construction of the Nikko Toshogu. Later, the third shogun Iemitsu had the shrine greatly enlarged and lavishly decorated.

The Toshogu at Ueno Park in Tokyo is also widely known. The Kunozan Toshogu is in Shizuoka prefecture and rivals Nikko's for decorative splendor. Another one is the Nagoya Toshogu, constructed in 1619. A Toshogu can also be found at Miyanochō, in Sendai.

During the Edo-era, these shrines reached 500 in number. After the Meiji Restoration, many were abandoned, and others united with shrines in the area. Presently, there are about 130 Toshogu.