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Oyama Shinto Shrine
Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan

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Oyama Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.

The shrine was established in 1599 in Utatsuyama, east of Kanazawa. It was dedicated to Maeda Toshiie, the first lord of the powerful, local Maeda Clan. (Maeda is pronounced mah e dah.) The shrine was constructed in 1599 by Toshiie's successor, Maeda Toshinaga on Mount Utatsu.  It was moved to its present location in 1873 and renamed to Oyama-jinja.

Oyama Shrine is known for its unusual main gate, called the Shinmon (God Gate), which was designed by a Dutch architect and constructed in 1875. This gate is a peculiar mix of traditional Japanese, Chinese, and European religious architectural elements. The gate is 82 ft. high including the lightning rod. The third floor is particular famous for its Dutch stained-glass windows. It is said that the third floor was also used as a lighthouse.

The gate originally guarded the entrance to the palace of Kanazawa Castle, and was only later moved to Oyama Shrine. See also the Kenroku-en Garden which was originally the private garden neighboring Kanazawa Castle which was the residence of the Maeda Family, .


Large stone torii at street level ... Main gate at top of broad, stone stair.
The main gate was constructed in 1875. This gate is a peculiar mix of traditional Japanese, Chinese, and European religious architectural elements. The gate is 82 ft. high including the lightning rod. The third floor is particular famous for its Dutch stained-glass windows. It is said that the third floor was also used as a lighthouse.

"The three-story shinmon gate was designed with the help of a Dutch doctor/teacher named Holtman, and built by Kichinosuke Tsuda who also built the shrine. It is an eclectic mix of European, Chinese, and Japanese elements, made of wood frame construction and approximately 83 feet in height." - Joseph Cali, Oyama Jinja (online March 2014) 



Detail - main gate.



Detail - main gate: Top lightning rod, said to have been the first lightening rod in Japan.


Detail - main gate: The third floor is particular famous for its Dutch stained-glass windows on all four sides. It is said that the third floor was also used as a lighthouse.



Detail - main gate:  ornamental woodwork inside the arch.


Detail - main gate:  ornamental woodwork inside the arch.


Detail - main gate: ornamental woodwork inside the arch.


Detail - main gate: ornamental woodwork inside the arch.


Main gate - facing street below.



Main gate - facing street below.
The ground floor consists of a triple arch constructed in brick that constitutes the gate.



Main gate - facing street below ... Ornamental folding doors on the second level.




Temizu - Shinto purification fountain ... Curved eaves



Temizu - Shinto purification fountain.



In front of the main hall stands this haiden - a  small room for private worship - that stands at some distance from the gate.  The roof is tiled and all the walls contain latticed panels with the majority being sliding doors with glass under the lattice.



Haiden - a  small room for private worship



Detail - Haiden ... Onigawara flower tile ... 6-circle end tiles



Detail - Haiden ... Onigawara flower tile ... 6-circle end tiles



Detail - Haiden



Detail - Haiden ... Tile-ends

Detail - Haiden  and stone lantern


Strolling Garden with Sculptures, Lanterns, Ponds and Bridges.
See also:
Japanese Gardens



Komainu - with open mouth



Komainu - with closed mouth



Oyama shrine is dedicated to Maeda Toshiie, the first lord of the powerful, local Maeda Clan. A statue of Maeda Toshiie astride a horse seems a bit out of place on the grounds of a shrine, but such is the respect for the man in this town.


Maeda Toshiie



Maeda Toshiie









Stone lantern



Stone lantern



Stone lantern



Stone lantern



Round-the-pond style with an artificial island



Koi



Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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