Futarasan Jinja, Nikko – Japan

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Futarasan Jinja, Nikko - Japan
Futarasan Jinja Nikko Japan

The city of Nikko, the temples of Toshogu, Futarasan Jinja and Rinnoji, which are also widely known in Japan under the general name Nisha-ichiji (two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple), are considered to be the central Nikko. The Nikko Temple Complex was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 1999 and includes a total of 103 cultural sites within the temple grounds.

Futarasan Jinja, Nikko - Japan
Futarasan Jinja Nikko Japan

In the Japanese religious tradition, worship of mountains, seas and other natural objects has always been common, and the highest local mountain Nantaysan did not escape this honorable fate – since ancient times, this now dormant volcano with a height of 2486 meters, which is called here and as Futarasan Jinja, was revered as seat of Shinto deities. In 782, Buddhist preacher Shodo-shonin was the first mortal to climb this sacred peak, after which he laid the Buddhist Shihonryuji Temple (the forerunner of the Rinnoji Temple) and the Hongu-Jinja Shinto Shrine (the prototype of the modern Futarasan Jinja temple) at its foot.

Futarasan Jinja, Nikko - Japan
Futarasan Jinja Nikko Japan

Since that time, the Nikko area became the center of worship of mountain deities throughout Eastern Japan, and during the Kamakura period (12-14 centuries), after Futarasan Jinja and Rinnoji came under the patronage of Minamoto-no Yoritomo, Having received the status of the abode of the guardian deities of the military class of Eastern Japan, these temples became the center of religious influence in the east of the country. Later, after the death in 1616 of Tokugawa Ieyasu in his honor, a temple-mausoleum of Tosegu was built here, which turned Nikko into a monastery and a symbol of the power of the Tokugawa shoguns.


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