A blue statue at Nikko Taiyuin

Nikko Taiyuin

Nikko Taiyuin

Nikko Taiyuin

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Honden, Ainoma and Haiden

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Honden, Ainoma and Haiden were founded in 1653 in Nikko. The structures have been maintained to this day without alteration except that traces of minor changes can be noticed in the painting finish ascribed to repair work carried out in the Edo Period. The composition of three chambers in this precinct represents the Gongen-zukuri style, which is the same style in which the buildings of Toshogu are arranged.

The arrangement of the former is different from the latter in that the Taiyu-in Reibyo Ainoma, the counterpart to the Ishinoma, is on the same level as the Taiyu-in Reibyo Haiden and also in that the Taiyu-in Reibyo Honden has a double-layered roof. It is known that the policy of construction from the earliest stage was to achieve the highest quality decorative workmanship in the engraving, lacquering, painting, and metal fitting work.

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Karamon

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Karamon has a Chinese style gable on the front entry side. It is an excellent work of carpentry in terms of both structure and decorative design, which are expressed in minutely engraved woven patterns and metal openwork.

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Yashamon

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Yashamon is a gate with four Chinese style gables, featuring eight supporting columns. Excellent workmanship is fully exercised in the structure and decorative design of the gate, especially in the peony carvings, which are applied consistently as the main motif for decorating this particular gate. Another example of excellent decoration is the pattern of decorative grooves carved on the columns. In addition, red and blue statues of Yaksa (a demonic deity) are enshrined as guardians in small enclosures at both sides of the front of the gate, while white and ultramarine statues of Yaksa are enshrined in enclosures at the back of the gate.

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Kokamon

The Taiyu-in Reibyo Kokamon is a whitewashed gate with an arched entrance, traditionally associated with the image of the gate to the mythological ‘Palace of the Dragon King”. Unusual workmanship was exercised in the plastering techniques of the wainscots, whose brilliant whiteness was realized by mixing lead oxide with the pigments.

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