Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Finding Nogi Shrine (Emma)

“Find the shrine where the famous general who committed suicide in September 1912 following his lord, the Meiji Emperor, in death.”

Upon getting my first clue, I immediately went to google to try and figure out where I was supposed to go.

My Google Search
Of course, the first site that I was led to was a wikipedia article about General Nogi Marusuke. Upon further inspection, I found out that there was a shrine dedicated to him in Tokyo under the name of Nogi shrine (as well as a few shrines in other parts of Japan).
A General in the Russo-Japanese War, he was primarily known for his devotion to the Meiji Emperor, to the point that he and his wife committed suicide after the Emperor died. Because of this, he became a nationalistic icon and his property was turned into a shrine in 1923.

Finding Nogi Shrine was not that difficult in itself. After leaving the Rikkyo campus, I followed my phone’s instructions to make my way to Nogizaka Station. After leaving the station (using exit 1), I realized that the shrine is within feet of the exit.

The first thing that I noticed within the shrine grounds is a map that contains a small ‘chibi’ version of General Nogi Maresuke himself. It struck me as an interesting choice for a shrine map dedicated to someone who committed suicide.
"Chibi Nogi"
As one can see with the map, the grounds themselves seem fairly big. However, I was unable to access most of the area other than the main shrine due to some sort of maintenance. After cleansing myself at the fountain, I explored the grounds, eventually sitting down at a bench and watching people come through and pray at the shrine.
Nogi Shrine
When thinking about this shrine in a historical context, I feel like it represents many things. In a lot of ways, it represents the end of the Meiji era, and enshrines this last representation of utmost loyalty to the Meiji Emperor. Looking at this site, the shrine itself was rebuilt in 1957 after being destroyed in the Tokyo air raids of 1945. Although the air raids aren’t important in the context of why this shrine was built, it does put into perspective how much of Tokyo was destroyed, and how much Tokyo has changed since the early 1900s.
The ema at Nogi Shrine.
"Nogi Shrine (Tokyo)." Wikipedia. Accessed September 28, 2016. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nogi_Shrine_(Tokyo).

"General Maresuke Nogi (1849 – 1912)." The War Poet Association. 2014. Accessed September 28, 2016. http://www.warpoets.org/poets/general-maresuke-nogi-1849-1912/.


Hannah said...

Glad your shrine was easier to find than mine! haha. It definitely has an interesting history, I'll have to visit if I make it to Tokyo

Ethan Rosa said...

I haven't hear of this shrine before but it looks nice and based on the map it looks like there's a lot there. Maybe I'll go when I go to Tokyo.

Millie Fan said...

It's really fun to explore different shrines in Japan! I think each shrine has its own story and history~ Don't forget to seek a sign there~