Toshogu

Toshogu
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.