Dragon Ceiling
Toshogu Shrine, Nikko
LINC70B: Web Page Design II

Visit Nikko, Japan

Instructor: William Cavada
Foothill College KCI Krause Center
Winter Quarter: Feb. 10-March 20, 2020

By Peter Y. Chou

Shinkyo Bridge
Nikko, Japan

Preface: I'm taking William Cavada's online LINC70B: Web Page Design class at Foothill College Krause Center in the Winter Quarter (February 10-March 20, 2020). Our Final Assignment is to create a web page about a travel location in Santa Clara County. Link to a second page and tells us the top 5 things to do. For the first page, recommended five sites in Santa Clara to visit— Stanford University, Stanford Theatre, Chef Chu, Redwood Grove, and Rancho San Antonio. For the second page, recommended a visit to Nikko, Japan. When invited to the 6th International Biophysics Conference in Kyoto, Japan, we made a group tour to Nikko (August 29-30, 1978). Wrote three poems on Kegon Falls, Sacred Shinkyo Bridge, and Dragon Ceiling
in the Toshogu Shrine. My friend Rudy Perez is taking a Python Programming class (Winter 2020) at Foothill College. His lab partner Nikko is from Japan. That's why I rounded up these Nikko photos to assist him in his class. Recommended places to visit in Nikko: Kegon Waterfalls, Shinkyo Bridge, Mt. Nantai & Futaran Shrine, Toshugu Shrine with Three Wise Monkeys, Dragon Ceiling in Toshugu Shrine.

Japan 2811: Kegon Falls
(issued 12-25-1938)
Kegon Falls is the most famous of Nikko's many beautiful waterfalls. It is 97 meters tall (318 feet), length of a football field. It is the only exit for the waters of Lake Chuzenji. The falls were formed when the Daiya River was rerouted by lava flows. There are about twelve smaller waterfalls situated behind and to the sides of Kegon Falls. It can be seen from a free observation platform that is easily accessible on foot, as well as from a paid platform at the base of the falls. Kegon Waterfall is also a popular autumn color spot. The trees around the waterfall are usually most colorful from mid to late October. In the winter the waterfall is impressive as well when it freezes almost completely solid. The Kegon Falls are infamous for suicides, especially among Japanese youth. Japan 281 is a postage stamp honoring this waterfall (issued 12-25-1938). Wrote a poem on Kegon Waterfall when visiting here on 8-29-1978— "Kegon Waterfall": O water of wonder / A bolt of thunder / O lofty and tall / Mighty Kegon Falls! / A rod of lightning / A stroke of whitening / Colorful... inspiring / Heavenly aspiring! / Straight as an arrow / Whose path is narrow / Flight of the Alone / To the Eye of Unknown. / Departing... uniting / Emerging adn merging / Simple and pure / Single and sure. / Stately and sincere / It's gone... it's here / Its course has run / It's all... it's one!
Kegon Falls
Nikko, Japan

Japan 282: Shinkyo Bridge
(issued 12-25-1938)
Video 1
Shinkyo Bridge goes across Daiya River, and is located just at the entrance of the area of Rinnoji temple, Nikko Toshogu and Futarasan shrine. The lenght is about 27.8 meters, and the width is about 7.4 meters, and stands 10.6 meters above the Daiya River. In 767, the high priest Shodo, the founder of Rinnoji, and his disciples arrived here for the first time. Because Daiya River had a rapid current, they were unable to cross the river. So priest Shodo preyed. Then a god appeared. The god threw two big snakes. They intertangled with each other, then became a bridge. Shodo group were able to cross the river, and went to the sacred Nikko mountains. The first solid bridge was built in 808 here, the bridge had been rebuilt every 16 years. Unfortunately, the bridge was washed away by a flood in 1902, then the current bridge was rebuilt in 1904. Japan 282 honors the Shinkyo Bridge (issued 12-25-1938). Wrote a poem on Shinkyo Bridge when visiting here in 1978.
Shinkyo Bridge
Nikko, Japan
Video 2

Japan 280: Mt. Nantai
& Torii (12-25-1938)
Mt. Nantai & Futarasan Shrine stands next to Toshogu in central Nikko. Much older than its more lavish neighbor, Futarasan Shrine was founded in 782 by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko and who also founded nearby Rinnoji Temple. Futarasan Shrine is dedicated to the deities of Nikko's three most sacred mountains: Mount Nantai, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro. Futarasan is another name of Mount Nantai, the most prominent of the three mountains. It is 2,486 meters high (1.54 mile). A prominent landmark, seen as far as the Pacific coast, 100 km away (328 feet). Japan 280 is a postage stamp honoring Mt. Nantai and the Torii of the Futarasan Chugushi Shrine Nationsl Park (issued 12-25-1938). The shrine grounds are mostly free to enter except for a small paid area to the left of the offering hall (haiden). The paid area features a small forested garden with a couple more halls, a spring, old sacred trees and closer views onto the main hall (honden) that stands behind the offering hall. Located one kilometer (0.62 mile) from the shrine grounds, the Shinkyo Bridge.
Mt. Nantai & Torii
Nikko, Japan

Toshogu Shrine
Nikko, Japan
Toshugu Shrine is one of the most ornate temples of the Edo period. The Edo period, from the early 17th to the mid 19th century. The buildings, most of which were built in the 17th century, are arranged on the mountain slopes so as to create different visual effects. The first buildings were constructed by a Buddhist monk in the 8th century. The Toshugu Shrine centers around the mausoleum of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun. As is usual, such shrines are guarded by two warrior gods. One of the
Three Wise Monkeys: "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil"
Toshogu Shrine, Nikko
most interesting notes at the Toshugu Shrine is a series of eight carvings above a door depicting aspects of Confucius's Code of Conduct. The second
is the famous maxim hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil depicted in the actions of three wise monkeys. This is the first known depiction of the famous saying. The three monkeys are Mizaru, covering his eyes, who sees no evil; Kikazaru, covering his ears, who hears no evil; and Iwazaru, covering his mouth, who speaks no evil. There are various meanings ascribed to the monkeys and the proverb including associations with being of good mind, speech and action. The phrase is often used to refer to those who deal with impropriety by turning a blind eye.

Toshogu Shrine, Nikko
Dragon Ceiling at Toshogu Shrine Calvin's account (4-17-2008): The highlight of our visit to Nikko that I find most interesting was the Nakiryu (Crying Dragon). It is a dragon, painted on the ceiling of Yakushi-Hall, located on the back of Korou (Drum tower). The original picture was painted by Yasunobu Eishin, but was restored by Nanbu Katayama after it was burned down. It consists of 34 boards of Japanese cypress are put together to form the ceiling, measuring approximately 6 meter by 15 meter (19.7 ft x 49.2 ft). What makes this painting of dragon amazing is that it makes a sound like a crying when clappers are struck under the dragon; or more accurately, just axactly below its eyeballs. Mysteriously, there were no echo heard when the clappers are struck at other spots of the hall. My poem "Dragon of Thunder" (Nikko, 8-30-1978)— O hear the clap of thunder / Bring forth the mist of rain / The sky is torn asunder / The dragon is seen again. // His body spanned the ceiling / His whiskers tickled my soul / He touched me with much feeling / He inspired me toward the goal. //
His countenance was benign / His eyes pierced my heart / He looked supremely divine /
With truth he did impart. // "Seek the source of heaven / Find the root of the earth /
Know the home of seven / Sages who sing of mirth." // I life my head in wonder /
To say one last farewell / O great dragon of thunder / In my heart you'll ever dwell.

Dragon Ceiling
Toshugu Shrine, Nikko

Place to Visit: Santa Clara county, California

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© Peter Y. Chou, Wisdom Portal
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (3-14-2020)