Many of the temples built by the Tokugawa family were built with gates adorned with karahafu roofs, called karamon gates. Like their name indicates,(kara means “noble” or “elegant” and mon means “gate"), these gates are true works of art, symbols of the shogunate power.
Among them, there’s a very special karamon gate that can be visited right in Tokyo, inside the Toshougu Shrine from Ueno. Here, the decorations were made by one of the greatest Japanese artists, Hidari Jingoro, sculptor and carpenter, author of the famous sculpture Sleeping Neko from Toshougu Shrine, Nikko. On this Karamon Gate, Jingoro sculpted a pair of dragons, one ascending towards the heaven (called Noboriyu) and another one descending to earth (Kudariyu). And, of course, there also a local legend about them, saying that when the night falls, the two dragons are going to drink water from the nearby Shinobazu Pond…
You can see a detail with the Karamon dragons here…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: