Nitenmon Gate (Important Cultural Property)
As you approach the Asakusa Shrine gate on the east side of the Main Hall, the gate on the right is named for the two protective Buddhist deities (known as ten) that flank it left and right: Zochoten and Jikokuten respectively. Hence Nitenmon or “gate of two ten.” Amongst the buildings of the Senso-ji complex, this structure has an especially long history. The gate has also been named an Important Cultural Property by the national government. The plaque on the gate that reads “Nitenmon” was created by Sanetomi Sanjo, a 19th century aristocrat and politician.
   Nitenmon Gate was originally erected in 1618 as the gate of Tosho-gu Shrine, once located inside the Senso-ji complex. Known also as Yadaijinmon Gate, it was dedicated to Japan's ancient Shinto gods. Tosho-gu Shrine was destroyed by fire in 1642, and this gate, along with the stone bridge located in front of Yogodo, were the only structures to survive.
   Around the latter half of 19th century, the Meiji government had a policy of separating Shintoism and Buddhism. The statues of Zochoten and Jikokuten, previously owned by Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu Shrine (a famous Shinto shrine of the Kamakura area) were moved to the Buddhist Senso-ji. The gate was re-named “Nitenmon Gate” in line with Buddhist terminology. Unfortunately the original statues were decimated during World War II. The two statues now guarding the gate came from Genyuin Hall (the gravesite of Tokugwa Ietsuna, the fourth Edo shogun) of Kanei-ji, the family temple of the Tokugawas at Ueno Park, Tokyo.
photo Nitenmon Gate
Return to the Senso-ji map

Unauthorized use, including copying, of photos, illustrations, etc. used on this website is prohibited. Copyright 2008, Senso-ji. All rights reserved.