Taitokuin Mausoleum

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  • Built: 1632
  • Destroyed: 1945

The Taitokuin Mausoleum was a monument built in 1632 by Tokugawa Iemitsu for his predecessor Tokugawa Hidetada, whose posthumous Buddhist name was Taitokuin. Erected at the Tokugawa clan temple of Zôjô-ji in Edo, it was comprised of three sections - a Main Hall (honden), Worship Hall (haiden), and Connecting Hall (ainoma) - and served as a model for much subsequent mausoleum architecture, including elements of the shrine to Tokugawa Ieyasu at Nikkô.

A 1:10 scale model of the mausoleum, commissioned by the City of Tokyo, was constructed at the Tokyo bijutsu gakkô (Tokyo Art School), under the supervision of Takamura Kôun and Koda Minoru, and displayed at the 1910 Japan-British Exposition in London alongside thirteen other models of Japanese architecture. The model was 3.6 metres wide, 5.4 metres long and 1.8 metres high, and was one of the largest such structures at the exposition. This model was then displayed at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew Gardens until 1936, and then kept in storage in England as a part of the British Royal Collection. The original Taitokuin Mausoleum was destroyed in the bombings of Tokyo in 1945. The model was restored in 2014, and put on display in Japan for the first time ever, on the former site of the original mausoleum at Zôjô-ji, beginning in April 2015. It remains on display today in the Treasure House exhibition hall at Zôjô-ji.