The Birthplace of Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa
Okazaki is the birthplace of Ieyasu Tokugawa who established peaceful Edo period without wars for more than 250 years. He was born in Okazaki Castle on December 26th, 1542 and it is said that a golden dragon appeared from the castle’s well at the time of his birth. The well became known as “the lucky dragon well” and the shrine’s main prayer hall ceiling holds Japan’s largest wooden carved “Roaring Dragon”
The Edo period is between 1603 and 1868 in the history of Japan. The country was governed by the Tokugawa shogunate. Emerging from the chaos of the Sengoku or war-torn period (1467~), the Edo period was characterized by pacifism, economic growth, strict social order, isolationist foreign policies, and popular enjoyment of arts and culture. The shogunate was officially established in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1603, by Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu. Edo was the site of thriving urban culture such as Ukiyo-e and Kabuki.
Okazaki is the second largest city with historical temples. One of the famous temples of Okazaki is the Daijuji temple where the ancestors of Ieyasu that goes back 8 generations rest.
When he was 17, as he was surrounded by his foes, Ieyasu tried to commit suicide in front of the grave of his ancestors. It is said that the quote, 厭 離 穢 土 欣 求 浄 土“ Onriedo Gongujyoudo” meaning, leaving a corrupted land in seek of a pure land, which was gifted to Ieyasu from the monk helped change his mind. It was this event which steeled his determination to bring peace and stability to the land.
After the invasion by Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the relationship between Japan and Korea was at the worst. However due to the sudden death of Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the remaining Japanese forces in Korea were ordered to withdraw back to Japan by Ieyasu Tokugawa who took over. As the cultural ambassadors, “Joseon envoy and his retinue” were dispatched to Japan for the exchange of 75000 captives, final peace negotiations between the parties followed after and resulted in the normalization of relations. The 400 -500 cultural ambassadors arrived in Kyoto and headed to the capitol Edo (Tokyo) and arrived here in Okazaki. It is said that the government official sent from Edo welcomed the Joseon envoy and his retinue here in Okazaki. This is why we feel that the Joseon Mission to Japan is the symbol of Pax Tokugawa.
Drawing of Terufumi Karasawa, Okazaki’s famous Artist
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