Rethinking Nikkô and the Tokugawa Culture of Light
Colloquium | November 6 | 4-6 p.m. | 180 Doe Library
Timon Screech, University of London SOAS
It is well known that Tokugawa Ieyasu died in 1616 and was deified. It was determined that he should be a kami (Shinto god) that existed as an avatar of a Buddha, the Medicine Buddha being selected. There were geomantic reasons for these steps.
Ieyasus body was then disinterred and relocated to Nikkô, a geomantically important site.
The modest Shinto-Buddhist precincts demolished and rebuilt on colossal scale some 20 years later.
Nikkô means the suns rays, and this talk will argued that the cult of Ieyasu constructed him, above all, as a solar ruler, and that Nikkô, became the focus of a Tokugawa culture of light.