Replica Of Tokugawa Hidetada’s Lost Mausoleum Returns Home For 1st Time


Replica of Tokugawa Hidetada’s lost mausoleum returns home for 1st timeA spectacular scale replica of the Taitokuin Mausoleum has returned to Japan after an absence of more than 100 years.
Part of the British Royal Collection, the 1:10 scale replica Meiji Era (1868-1912) model will go on long-term display at Zojoji temple in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, where the original building once stood, beginning April 2.

The announcement was made Feb. 5 during a news conference at the British Embassy.

The original Taitokuin Mausoleum was constructed in 1632 and was dedicated to the second Tokugawa Shogunate, Tokugawa Hidetada (1579-1632). It was destroyed during an Allied air raid of Tokyo in 1945.

The original structure, with glittering decorations covering its surfaces, became the model for all subsequent mausoleum architecture in Japan, including the Nikko Toshogu shrine in Tochigi Prefecture, a registered World Heritage site.

Measuring 3.6 meters wide, 5.4 meters long and 1.8 meters high, the model was commissioned by the city of Tokyo for the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London, where it was displayed along with other smaller-scale models of historic Japanese buildings.

It was created by a team of the finest carpenters, lacquer artists and sculptors under the supervision of experts at the Tokyo Fine Arts School, a predecessor of the Tokyo University of the Arts, including the famous sculptor Takamura Koun (1852-1934).

The model was subsequently presented to King George V and became part of the Royal Collection. In 1996, William Coaldrake, a specially appointed professor of architectural history at the University of Tokyo, confirmed its presence, and the model underwent a thorough examination and restoration.

Zojoji temple will open a new exhibition room to display the temple’s historical treasures.