After crossing the Nio-mon Gate facing Shinobazu-dori Avenue and proceeding along with the approach for a while, a steep staircase awaits you before you reach the main hall. This is Gokoku-ji Temple in Otsuka. This temple used to be a prayer temple for the Tokugawa Shogunate.
At the top of the stairs stands the Furo-mon Gate, and people heading for the main hall are being sucked into the gate one after another. As I watched visitors climb the steep steps and pass through the gate, I felt as if the gate were a gate to success. It is said that even a carp can become a dragon if it passes the gate.
What I suddenly realize is that I had always thought of the gate as a gate named "Tohryu-mon." The image I had was that if one could open the gate and pass through, he or she would be able to rise to the top and grab opportunities at the crossroads of life. But the original legend is different. According to the Encyclopedia of Japan, the Tohryu-mon is not a gate at all, but rather a rapid on the middle course of the Yellow River in China (between Hejin County, Shanxi Province, and Hancheng County, Shaanxi Province). It is based on a legend that a carp that climbs up the rapids will turn into a dragon.
However, because of the use of the Chinese character for "gate," I had always thought there was a gate named "Tohryu" (登竜). The influence of the kanji on the image is not trivial. It is indeed the only ideographic character that continues to be used in the world.
|May 2022 IN THE CITY TOKYO|
|GATE OTSUKA SILHOUETTE SKY TEMPLE|
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ZEISS LOXIA 2/35