Shrines and Temples of Nikko
© Japan Photo Encyclopedia
Date of Inscription: 1999
Criteria: C (ii) (iii) (vi)
The shrines and temples of Nikko, together with their natural surroundings, have for centuries been a sacred site known for its architectural and decorative masterpieces. They are closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa Shoguns.
Justification for Inscription
Criterion (i): The Nikko shrines and temples are a reflection of architectural and artistic genius; this aspect is reinforced by the harmonious integration of the buildings in a forest and a natural site laid out by man.
Criterion (iv): Nikko is a perfect illustration of the architectural style of the Edo period as applied to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. The Gongen-zukuri style of the two mausoleums, the Tôshôgu and the Taiyû-in Reibyô, reached the peak of its expression in Nikko, and was later to exert a decisive influence. The ingenuity and creativity of its architects and decorators are revealed in an outstanding and distinguished manner.
Criterion (vi): The Nikko shrines and temples, together with their environment, are an outstanding example of a traditional Japanese religious centre, associated with the Shinto perception of the relationship of man with nature, in which mountains and forests have a sacred meaning and are objects of veneration, in a religious practice that is still very much alive today.
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