Exhibition to Celebrate the Completion of the Heisei Great Renovation of Yomeimon Gate of Nikko Toshogu Shrine

JAPANESE ART EXHIBITION "KIZASHI"

On March 10, 2017, a ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the Yomeimon Gate, one of the most famous architectural monuments of Nikko Toshogu Shrine.

Coincidently, the date of the ceremony coincided with the anniversary of the Great Tokyo Air Raid of 1945, which burnt down over 270,000 homes and took over 100,000 precious lives, and furthermore, was one day before the 6th anniversary of the March 11, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Assuming from the comments made by Nikko Toshogu Shrine Chief Priest Hisao Inaba who stated, “I’m filled with deep emotion that the renovations were successfully completed. My hope is that the illuminating power of Yomeimon Gate will provide a source of hope and strength for the disaster-stricken areas, which will be approaching their sixth year of recovery since the Great East Japan Earthquake” (March 10, Asahi Shimbun article), in addition to the joy expressed by Mr. Inaba and his fellow Shinto priests for the completion of renovations, their thoughts must also have been focused on holding special festivities that included memorial services to remember the lives lost during these tragedies.

The completion of the large scale Heisei era renovation of Yomeimon Gate not only drew many tourists but also helped shed light on social contributions, with the start of a “permanent lending project” of artifacts, dedicated by our artists to Nikko Toshogu Shrine, to elementary and junior high schools, public facilities and welfare facilities in order to provide education and welfare to the community, as well as to offer healing to local residents.

With such a background, the “Art Exhibition KIZASHI” was held at the Visitors’ Hall of Nikko Toshogu Shrine between July 21, 2017 (Fri) and July 24, 2017 (Sun), and “Dedication Ceremony of Art Works” was also held from around noon on July 22.

Acceptance certificates of the dedicated works and proof of the artistic dedication contributions were awarded at the ceremony that was attended by a total of 70 people, including 47 artists.

Following the certificate awards, a special prayer was held in the Shogun Chakuzanoma (Shogun’s Chamber) of the Main Hall, Nikko Toshogu Shrine, to report the artistic dedication to the shrine. Although the exhibition only ran for four days, it drew over 853 visitors (according to the guest book), ranging from children to adults.

Among the visitors were tourists from overseas, a testament to the global popularity of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, UNESCO World Heritage Site.