After I watched the 2000 Taiga Drama "Aoi Tokugawa," I knew I had to visit Japan. The story of three generations of the Tokugawa clan completely mesmerized me. I loved this show so much I wanted to BE a Tokugawa.
Once in the country, I went to see Zojo-ji Temple in Tokyo. Six of the fifteen Tokugawa shoguns are buried there, but for me it was all about Hidetada and his wife Ogo.
Most of all, I wanted to go to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. Away in the mountains, in a beautiful forested area, the Tosho-gu Shrine is dedicated to the first Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Tosho-gu Shrine was built by order of his grandson Iemitsu, and was completed in 1617. The gate is massive and the buildings are elaborately carved and painted with birds and animals. I especially liked the five-story pagoda. We also climbed the 200 steps up to Ieyasu's burial place. I think Tokugawa Ieyasu would be pleased with his shrine.
Of course, throughout this time I was imagining Nishida Toshiyuki, Iwashita Shima, Tsugawa Masahiko, and Nakamura Baijaku all playing their respective parts in the NHK's Tokugawa drama.
It was because of their portrayals that I was inspired to travel many times to Japan and to eagerly learn its history.
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