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A temple scene at Toshogu Temple outside Nikko, north of Tokyo. Taken in February 2011, just a few weeks before the huge earthquake, tsunami & nuclear accident at Fukushima. By then (March 2011) I was safely back in Korea. I liked the resemblance of these stone pillar lanterns to flowers, with the effect enhanced by the snow, which also heightened the graphic appearance here. Shot almost entirely in deep shadow beneath a grove of towering pine and cedar trees, one of which can be seen top left. Hence the slight blue cast.

From Wikitravel: "Tōshōgū (東照宮). Apr-Oct 8AM-4:30PM, Nov-Mar 8AM-3:30PM. The burial place of dynasty founder Tokugawa Ieyasu and the most extravagant of the lot. Ieyasu was buried here immediately after his death, but the present complex was only built in 1634 on the order of his grandson Iemitsu. The shrine took 2 years to complete with the efforts of 15,000 workers. edit
After two flights of steps you will reach the Sacred Stable, housing a white horse. The most famous symbol here is the carving of the three wise monkeys, who "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil". They're part of a curious series of carvings about the life cycle of a monkey, from giddy childhood to fearful old age. Nearby, you can also find an interesting approximation of an elephant, carved by an artist who had clearly never seen one."

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9831 W: 991 N: 18660] (94802)
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