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I visited Kunouzan Toshogu last Sunday.
The VOIS’s Interpreters’ Training Course includes an on-site guiding practice and this term we chose Kunozan Toshogu.
Did you know Kunozan Toshogu has been designated as National Treasure recently?
It’s the only building National Treasure in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Not only was the master priest there kind enough to show us around as long as three hours, but he kindly gave special consideration to our admission fees. For a poor NPO, this is really unusual and we felt grateful.  We have often treated coldly by red-tape type authorities, so his kindness was really impressive.
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The most interesting point for me was his answer to my question at the tomb of Ieyasu.
As you know, most people believe the remains of Ieyasu were moved to Nikko Toshogu.
So I asked him, “I guess a lot of non-Japanese ask you what is inside the tomb.  How do you answer that?”
He said, “I say, ‘the remains of Ieyasu’”.  I was a bit surprised.
He went on saying “The remains of Ieyasu must be here.  There are some reasons why I say so.  First, the descendants of Tokugawa family visit Nikko Toshogu and Kunozan Toshogu.  At Nikko, they offer prayers at the main building but they do not go up to the tomb.  Here at Kunozan, they offer prayers both at the main building and at the tomb.
Second, the tomb stone yard at Kunozan was built over 20 years after Ieyasu died, after Nikko Toshogu had already been built.  In addition, the construction was done directly by the government.  Usually this kind of construction was ordered to provincial lords those days.  So if the remains had already been moved, the government wouldn’t have had to build this grand grave.  Third, Tenkai, a great Buddhist monk, left a waka, Japanese verse, regarding the transfer of the remains saying “Areba aru, Nakereba nashito, Suruganaru, Kunonakikamino Miyautsushikana”, which I dare translate as follows; “If you think it is there, it is there. If you don’t, it isn’t.  Removing only the spirit of the God in Suruga”.
「あればある なければなしとするがなる くのなき神の宮移しかな」
He said, “Ku ” as in “くのなき神の”, can mean “” meaning the body, so the latter half of the verse says “The God was moved but not the body”.
Well, if you are from Tochigi, you have a lot to say for this.
Let’s just believe what we want to believe.  (Running away from a controversial matter....  away .... away  )
‘あればある なければなしとするがなる くのなき神の宮移しかな’




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