(Yomeimon Main Gate at Toshogu Shrine, at Nikko, Japan)
kit produced in the 70's
About the original:
The name of the Yomeimon came from one of the twelve gates in the Imperial court in Kyoto. That one also was called Yomeimon. Techniques of crafts and decoration such as coloring, metal fitting and sculpture, were gathered in the Yomeimon. People are not tired of looking at the gate all day long because of its excellence.
Especially, sculptures are remarkable. The number of the sculptures is over 500. Frame of "Tosho-daigongen" is put on the arched gable. Also, sculptures of dragon and Iki are put under the frame of "Tosho-daigongen." Iki has tusk, but no whiskers. Also, the Iki has nostril on the upper lip.
Also, sculptures of giraffe are put on the side of the frame. These giraffes have no scale unlike the giraffe on the label of a beer. In addition, sculpture of Menukino-ryu is carved on the white crossbar. The Menukino-ryu looks like flying in the sky. Moreover, sculptures of horse-dragon are put on the side of the Menukino-ryu. The horse-dragon has hoof on the leg. It is similar to the giraffe, but the giraffe is single-horned while the horse-dragon is double-horned. Also, point of the giraffe's hoof is divided into two parts while horse-dragon's hoof is divided into the odd number. In addition, the horse-dragon has scale on the surface of the body. It proves that the horse-dragon belongs to the dragon family. Toshogu Shrine is like a wonderland.
There are 5173 sculptures in Toshogu Shrine totally. Honsha shrine has 2468 sculptures (Honden-1439, Haiden-940 and Ishinoma-89). In addition to that, Karamon (611 sculptures), Yomeimon (508 sculptures) follow the Honsha. There are 400 sculptures of small flower in the Karamon. Each flower is 7cm x 9cm. Theme of the sculpture is divided into the following categories such as human being, animals, imaginary animals, flower, birds and patterns. It is told that there is a law for each arrangement. For example, sculptures of human being are limited to be put in only the Yomeimon Gate and the Karamon Gate. Spiritual animals and Chinese Lions are arranged only in the Yomeimon Gate. Also, sculpture of tapir is intensively seen in Honden main shrine.
Yomeimon is the masterpiece of building in Toshogu Shrine. It is 11.1m high, and is double layered. Also, frontage is 7m, and is 4.4m deep. Twelve pillars are colored by white pigment, and scrolling patterns are carved on the pillars.
Mayokeno-sakabashira (Inverted pillar for amulet) is famous among those pillars. It is located on the left side after the gate. There are two more inverted pillars in the Honden and the Haiden, but these are not well known. The inverted pillar has a function as an amulet, but imperfection is a will of long life. Ancient people thought that the perfection was the beginning of declining. Therefore, they used to leave space for three tiles on the roof when the house was built.