Gosho Palace Kyoto


Gosho Imperial Palace in Kyoto

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The Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所, Kyōto Gosho)
is an imperial palace of Japan, though the Emperor of Japan is not in residence. The Emperor has resided at the Tokyo Imperial Palace since 1869 (Meiji Restoration) and ordered the preservation of the Kyōto Imperial Palace in 1877.

The Kyōto Imperial Palace is the latest of the imperial palaces built at or near its site in the north-eastern part of the old capital on Heiankyō after the abandonment of the larger original Heian Palace (大内裏, daidairi) that was located to the west of the current palace during the Heian Period. The Palace lost much of its function at the time of the Meiji Restoration, when the capital functions were moved to Tōkyō in 1869. However, the Taishō and Showa Emperors still had their coronation ceremonies at Kyōto Gosho.

The main building on the Palace Grounds includes, among other halls,

. Shishinden 紫宸殿 Hall for State Ceremonies .

Seiryōden (清涼殿, lit. 'cool, refreshing hall'),
Kogosho (小御所, Court Room),
Ogakumonsho (御学問所, Imperial Study or Library),
and a number of residences for the Empress, high-ranking aristocrats and government officials.

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The gardens associated with the Imperial Palace in Kyoto may date no earlier than the rebuilding of the palace in the middle of the 19th Century. They are of some interest to the historian of Japanese gardens, however, in that they contain elements that appear to be conscious revivals of Japan's earliest Imperial gardens. In that sense, they may respond to the same nostalgic impulse that inspired the gardens of Katsura Villa.

The gardens of Kyoto’s Imperial Park include three featured in this website (for the other two, see Sento Gosho and Shusui-tei).
The current site of the Imperial Palace was once the estate of one Tsuchimikado Higashi, the original palace having been located slightly to the southwest. The Kyoto Gosho did not become the permanent residence of the Emperor until the Shoguns Nobunaga and Hideyoshi rebuilt it in the late 16th Century, and the present buildings date only from 1855.

It is difficult to guess how many of the garden elements found to the east of the palace complex predate the late Edo Period, but it is clear that whoever designed the more private stream garden must have had in mind the “poetry contest gardens” of the earliest Emperors. Even the pond garden with its islands and Chinese-style arched bridge may have been a conscious attempt at recreating the great water gardens of the Heian nobility.

source : learn.bowdoin.edu/japanesegardens


. Daishogun Hachi Jinja 大将軍八神社 .

The shrine is located in the North-West, at the Tenmon gate 天門 of the Imperial Palace Gosho.

Amulets from this shrine.


hoshi hitotsu nagare-todomari Gosho no sora

just one star
shoots by but stops -
the sky of Gosho palace

Mimura Junya 三村純也 (1953 - )


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. Goshogaki 御所柿(ごしょがき)
Persimmon "of the imperial palace"

kigo for late autumn


Gosho ningyoo 御所人形
Gosho dolls from the Imperial Palace

Palace Dolls

Gosho Ningyo generally represent fat, happy babies in a simplified infantile form. A heavy coat of gofun to achieve the perfectly white skin so prized in Japan seals them. They have minimal painted facial features - just the essential amount of detail ("no more - no less") to capture the essence of the child. Instead of switching to the popular inserted glass eyes, gosho artists maintained the spirit of these dolls by keeping the traditional black inked eye treatment.

Kyoto National Museum states that these white, rounded, chubby figures are thought to have been influenced by the naked children Saga dolls.
They were initiallly presents from the Imperial Palace to the Daimyo and other vassals.

There are many names associated with gosho dolls: "Good luck dolls", shira-kiku "white chrysanthemum", shirajishi-ningyo "white flesh doll", zudai "large head", or Izukura ningyo which refers to a Osaka doll dealer. The term "gosho" can be translated "from the Imperial Palace" since they were originally created by doll makers in Kyoto specifically to be gifts from the Imperial household to their special visitors. The recipients treasured these. The merchant class wanted to emulate this royal gift giving ritual - a status symbol. Thus the practice of giving gosho ningyo as special meaningful gifts spread throughout Japan.
source : www.lotzdollpages.com

Kawase Hasui 川瀬 巴水
- source : facebook

- More images of Gosho Dolls -

Gosho Dolls are often in the form of

karako 唐子 Chinese children

They carry auspicious items, like peaches or turtle and crane for longevity or a treasure ship (takarabune 宝船) for good financial fortunes.

. karako 唐子 Tang-China children - patterns .

Later they began to imitate (mitate 見立て) famous historical scenes and persons.

Dolls that could be bent three times (mitsu-ore 三つ折れ) were developed during the late 18th century.


gosho ningyoo no chigowa fukuramu botan no me

the fluffy hairdo
of this Gosho doll -
bud of a peony

. Hasegawa Kanajo 長谷川かな女 .


- shared by Mark on facebook


Gosho dolls are a kind of

ishoo ningyoo 衣裳人形 dolls with robes
costume dolls
They come in various forms, like beautiful ladies in the robes of various historical periods, Kabuki and Noh actors and even as small amulets to protect children from illness.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Saga Ningyo 嵯峨人形 Saga ningyoo
Saga ningyo are considered to be the finest and rarest of the wooden carved dolls. Saga dolls originated during the Edo period in the town of Saga which is close to Kyoto. Without a doubt, Saga dolls were originally made by the same craftsmen who produced shrine deity statues. With just one look you can see similarities to the statues found in shrines. One of the earliest Saga ningyo is kept in a temple as a religious piece. Most early Saga dolls have a religious aspect to them, either as representations of Buddhist deities or as humans whose qualities made them deities after their death.

Toward the late Edo Period the dolls became a bit more playful with wobbling heads and tongues that protruded when the dolls are tipped forward. As stated, the workmanship of these dolls is remarkable. The carving of the wood was exquisite and the colors were dark lacquer, elaborately decorated in red and gold colored lacquer. These dolls were so popular in Edo that doll making shops copied the style, calling them Edo Saga ningyo. One of these dolls is represented in the accompanying picture. Edo Saga dolls were usually shown in active poses and required a stand of some sort to support them.
source : www.yoshinoantiques.com

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .


- - - - - Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 - - - - -

haru no yo ni tootoki gosho o moru mi kana

on spring nights
they have to guard the venerable
Imperial Palace . . .

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

The samurai who guarded the palace lived in cramped quarters nearby,
at Takiguchi 滝口.
It was named so because it was close to the mikawa-mizu 御溝水 water supply of the imperial palace.

滝口に 灯を呼ぶ声や春の雨
takiguchi ni hi o yobu koe ya haru no ame

at Takiguchi
voices call for a light -
rain in spring

They used bonfires in standing baskets (kagaribi 篝火) and torches (taimatsu 松明) .

These two hokku are said to be in memory of the famous poet-priest 西行法師 Saigyo Hoshi.

. Matsuo Basho and Saigyo .

春の夜や 狐の誘ふ上童
haru no yo ya kitsune no izanau ue warawa

spring night -
a fox comes to lure
a young lady servant

uewarawa, shootoo 上童(しょうとう) were young maidens serving at the royal palace.

. kitsune 狐 the Fox Deity .

- - - - -

source : www.katazome.com/buson

yoki hito o yadosu ko-ie ya oborozuki

some aristocrat
might be living in this small house -
hazy spring moon

yoki hito よき人 "good people", persons of high rank
The small house must have looked especially luring and elegant in the spring moon.

- - - - -

. goshogaki ni tanomare gao no kagashi kana .
御所柿 - Gosho Persimmons
Persimmons grown in Gose shi 御所市 Gose Town, Nara prefecture

- - - - -

小冠者出て 花見る人を咎めけり -
. kokaja dete hana miru hito o togame-keri .

kokanja, kokaja 小冠者 young samurai who has just passed the ritual of genpuku 元服, coming of age for a samurai boy.

. haru no yuube taenamu to suru koo o tsugu .
The court ladies add more incense . . .

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


. Place Names and Haiku  

. Shishinden 紫宸殿 Hall for State Ceremonies .

. Kyoto (Hana no Miyako 花の都) .




Anonymous said...

white chrysanthemum -
the innocence of a wish
behind the mask

Heike Gevi
Kigo Hotline

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson



goshogaki ni tanomare gao no kagashi kana