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Pilgrimages---Canton to Chichibu

Pilgrimages to Kannon and Jizo Bosatsu---East and West

Mark W. MacWilliams, Author

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Imperial Family and Nationalistic Pride

In the history of Japan, there have been 15 Tokugawa shoguns in rule. The Tokugawa crest is a symbol of the one of the last rulers of the Shogunate, resulting in the reclaim of one of the most powerful warlord clans in Japanese history. The Shogun governance imposed a strong rule and was been distinguished by historical classification as the "Tokugawa era" instead of the "Edo period". The Tokugawa or Edo era in Japan can be characterized by the samurai code of Bushido, promoting strong opposition towards Western influence and the closing of Japan to the outside world as a rising merchant class, developing urbanized power, and a ‘so called’ peaceful and prosperous reign of the Ieyasu dynasty Shouguns.

By 1867, increasing famine and social protest the power of the Shogunate in Japan weakened the clans of the Satsuma and the Choshu, who previously were allied promoting the goal of leading Japan into beginning the Meiji restoration. This event nurtured the rapid modernization of Japan, giving it the power to attain recognition as a powerful influence in modern Asia and worldwide. The transformation of Japan into the Meiji represents its leap into international development of modern culture, politics, and economics ("Tokugawa Period").

Symbol # 8 in the figure above displays the Tokugawa Crest. The Tokugawa's clan crest is known in Japanese as a "mon", specifically the "triple hollyhock.” Kamon are Japanese emblems or crests that are equivalent to the European hereditary tradition, and they are used to specifically represent and identify a family. The crest is believed to stem from a mythical clan, the Kamo clan, which legendarily descended from Yatagarasu, a Matsudaira village in the Higashikamo District of Japan. The legend goes that Emperor Go-Yōzei presented a new imperial crest to the Tokugawa founder, but Ieyasu declined the new symbol. Instead, he favored the old crest, which was not related to the rival Minamoto clan, thereby showing the bearer's allegiance to the shogunate. In this way, he showed support for the shogunate as opposed to the monarchists, whose cause is symbolized by the Imperial throne's chrysanthemum crest as seen at the Imperial Palace ("Japanese Family Crest").

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