Following the example of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who asked his descendants to build a shrine for him (Toshougu Shrine from Nikko), Tokugawa Iemitsu, the grandson of Ieyasu, left instructions for a mausoleum.
So the Taiyuin Mausoleum was built in 1653 by the following shogun, the son Tokugawa Ietsuna, and the result was this masterpiece of architecture and decoration, today listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
An interesting fact is that the Taiyuin architecture is very different from the Toshougu architecture, with much simpler ornaments - this was Iemitsu’s way to show respect for his predecessor. The colors are also different: Toshougu Shrine is predominantly white and golden, while the Taiyuin Mausoleum is for the most part gold and black, with a little red framing:
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: