Taito City Culture Guide Book
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Visit Kan-eiji Temple
Talk with Kan-eiji Temple Talk with Shomyo Urai

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Hiroshige Utagawa, "Ueno Sannai Tsuki-no Matsu"


Hiroshige Utagawa, "Ueno Sannai Tsuki-no Matsu"
A view of the Hongo area through the circular branch of "Tsuki-no Matsu," a pine tree planted near Ueno Benzaiten Shrine. The pine tree in the foreground is depicted as having a unique form, and its expression is also superb.

Ueno was a pleasure resort in Edo.

No place has been more bustling than the woods of Ueno since the Edo Period. Shinobazu-no Ike Pond was created in imitation of the landscape of Mt. Hiei and Lake Biwa. Shrines and temples were built one after another by the successive shoguns. People visited Ueno, indulged themselves in a luxuriant greenery, admired colossal temples and enjoyed strolling. In their way home, they relished the bustle of the Ueno Yamashita and Yanaka areas. Ueno was like a big amusement park.

Kan-eiji Temple scrolls


Kan-eiji Temple (From the right -- Kuromon, Sannosha, Kiyomizudo and Niomon. Shinobazu-no Ike Pond lies in the foreground.)

Kan-eiji Temple scrolls


Kan-eiji Temple (From the right -- great statue of buddha, Ueno Toshogu, five-storied pagoda, two-storied pagoda, scripture house, Ninaido and main hall), "Jigen Daishi Engi Emaki" by Gukei Sumiyoshi (portion, owned by Kan-eiji Temple, an art treasure), "Jigen Daishi Engi Emaki" by Gukei Sumiyoshi (portion, owned by Kan-eiji Temple, an art treasure)

Picture scrolls depicting the foundation of Kan-eiji Temple, which were painted by Gukei Sumiyoshi, an official Japanese-style painter in the shogun's court. This work consists of three scrolls, including one depicting Jigen Daishi (Tenkai), a founder of Kan-eiji Temple.

Mushizuka (a historic site designated by Tokyo) Kaneiji Temple

Kan-eiji bell tower


Mushizuka (a historic site designated by Tokyo) Kan-eiji Temple

Mushizuka was built in 1821 by bequest of Sessai Masuyama, a feudal lord of Ise Nagashima (present-day Mie Prefecture), in order to console the sprit of dead insects which were used as models for drawings. Sessai interacted with many literatus such as Nanbo Ota, and was active as a patron of them. He also mastered the art of realistic painting of Nanpin-ha School in China, and produced many paintings of flowers and birds. Among them, "Chu-chi Jo," a picture book of insects, is especially famous for its minuteness and accuracy.

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Taito City Culture Guide Book