KUNOZAN TOSHOGU SHRINE (National Treasure)
Nihondaira Ropeway takes visitors from Nihondaira Plateau to Kunozan Toshogu.
Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616)
Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the first Tokugawa Shogun, was buried at the summit of Mt Kunozan on the day of his death, April 17, 1616, and became a god of peace, and a guardian called Tosho Daigongen.
The gate of Kunozan Toshogu Shrine
The Special Edition of Sumpu Magazine which was published in Summer 2015 has revealed a long-standing deception concerning the true location of the mortal remains of the great 17th Century Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
The Chief Priest, Hidekuni Ochiai at a ceremony
After his death in 1616, the remains of Ieyasu, posthumously deified with the name Tosho Daigongen, the "Great Gongen, Light of the East", were buried at the mausoleum of Kunozan Toshogu.
The national treasure shrine that has regained its brilliance from 400 years ago.
Subsequently the common view held was that many people were brought to believe that, " … after the first anniversary of his death, Ieyasu’s mortal remains were reburied at Nikko Shrine, Nikko Tosho-gu. His remains are still there." In fact, Ieyasu’s real mortal remains are actually entombed at Kunozan.
The national treasure shrine buildings of Kunozan Toshogu
The deception, started in the 17th century by the Tokugawa Shogunate itself, stated that the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu are located at the Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine in the Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. This is a large and imposing site of a similar status to that of the Emperor. In fact, it is clear that this subterfuge was simply a means by which the Shogunate could show the people an example of their great power by having the greatest tomb shrine.
A view in the precints
It is now indisputably clear that the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu are, and always have been, entombed at the Kunozan Tosho-gu Shrine in the Shizuoka Prefecture, to the south west of Tokyo. This is borne out by the most reliable record written by Konchi-in Suden (AKA Honko Kokushi), a spiritual advisor to Tokugawa Ieyasu. His journal states that Ieyasu had ordered his closest lieges to bury his remains at Kunozan. This would have been a command that they could not betray.
On a ceremony day
Mr Tsunenari Tokugawa, the 18th generation head of the main Tokugawa House, has visited the tomb at Kunozan Tosho-gu every year on April 17th, the anniversary of Ieyasu’ s death, to pay his respects to his ancestor. He does not visit the alleged tomb at Nikko Tosho-gu, and has never done so, on this important day of remembrance. This fact is currently not widely known, since it is a very private family matter.
The centuries-long deception, having only become known very recently has, in the mean-time, resulted in the Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine being given World Heritage status, which is now rather questionable, particularly if it was granted on the understanding that the site was the location of Ieyasu’ s remains. All are in agreement that the soul of Tokugawa Ieyasu rests at Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine and also at the many other Tosho-gu Shrines throughout Japan. However, his earthly remains are certainly located at the Kunozan Tosho-gu Shrine.
The mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu
The majority of these facts are not yet common knowledge. They have been mentioned only in speeches made by the Chief Priest, Hidekuni Ochiai, who was helped by the British Museum in 2013 in his research into the old Spanish clock once owned by Ieyasu, given to him by the Spanish King in the early 17th century. The clock is one of the most important treasures in the Kunozan Tosho-gu Museum.
Visitting the mausoleum by Mr Tsunenari Tokugawa and people who joined the ceremony.