The 7th shogun, Tokugawa Ietsugu, became shogun in 1713 at the age of 4, and died prematurely in 1716. His posthumous name is Yushoin. A splendid mausoleum consisting of gorgeous architecture was built in the precincts of Zojoji Temple in Shiba, Tokyo, the year after his death. The Nitenmon Gate in the photo was built as the main gate of his mausoleum. The mausoleums of other 5 shoguns stood close together in this area, and glittering buildings that gathered the essence of the building technology of the time stood in a race for beauty, most of which were designated as national treasures. Most of them were destroyed in air raids during the Second World War, but the Nitenmon fortunately survived. Since the renovation in 1962, this gate has been deteriorating, but full-scale renovation work was carried out over 4 years from 2015, and now the beautiful appearance at the time of its foundation has been revived. A pair of statues on either side of the gate in the first photo stand here to ward off evil spirits that try to enter the mausoleum. Both of them were created by a Buddhist sculptor in Kyoto. Since the basic concept of the renovation was to restore the gate to its original state, all building materials were limited to those of domestic origin. Incidentally, the roofing material used at the time of the founding, copper plates over 1 mm thick, was still usable after nearly 300 years. Therefore, after the surface of the copper plates was cleaned of dirt, they were finished with a coat of Japanese black lacquer. The second photo shows the back side of the gate, and this black roofing material is it.
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