Blicke in die Welt um 1900 – 14
»We are nearly a hundred miles from Tokyo up among the Nikko mountains at the north. Thousands of Japanese every year come up to Nikko partly for the sake of the magnificient mountain scenery but principally to pray at the ancient altars of the gods and to reverence the tombs of the dead Shoguns or feudal princes. For more than a thousand years there have been temples in these mountains, but Nikko has vastly increased in splendor since the powerful Shogun Ieyasu and his grandson were buried here about three centuries ago, for to the pious Japanese their dead monarchs have themselves taken on a divinity worthy of devout reverence.
These temples are sacred to the ancient Shinto faith which far antedates Buddhism in Japan. It dates back so far that the origin and meaning of many of its symbols have been forgotten.
This temple gate you see now dating from the time of Ieyasu, is one blaze of red and white and gold. The carved dragons above are gilded and their gaping throats are of crimson. There is wonderful complexity of detail in the carvings of different parts of the gate. The material is chiefly wood made splendid with lacquers and gold and every inch is finished as exquisitely as if it were a tiny jewel box instead of a gate on a mountain-side.
Those stately lanterns on their stone pedestals are only a few among hundreds of such tributes erected in different parts of the temple grounds as votive offerings by the devout. It is a common custom in Japan to make such gifts, just as in Christian lands the worshippers might give stained-glass windows or sculptured fonts or altar vessels to a church.«
Ein stereoskopischer Ein-Blick in die Welt um 1900 … (wird fortgesetzt)
(alle Bildunterschriften und Texte sind den Vorder- bzw. Rückseiten der Stereokarten entnommen)
Private Collection / Private Sammlung
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- 24. Februar 2012 / 17:36