5th Anniversary Special ExhibitionThe deep secret of the eight-faced monkey story

Nikko Tosho Shrine Eight-Faced Monkey Replica

The famous monkey sculpture at the Nikko Tosho Shrine 「The 3 monkeys (See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil) 」.
Did you know there are sculptures of 7 other monkeys aside from the above?
The sculptures of those monkeys will all come together at the commemoration of the 5th anniversary.

1st Side(Days as a Baby)

The mother monkey holds its baby closely and looks out far for its “child’s prosperous future” with gentle eyes.
The baby monkey looks into its mother with an expression of full trust.

2nd Side(Childhood Days)

3 monkeys each covering its eyes, mouth, and eyes with both hands. This is the teachings of『See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil』.
The message of the teachings is to grow up with the pure heart each being is born with by only taking in the good and not looking, saying, or hearing any evil.

3rd Side(Before Becoming Independent)

Unlike in the days as a baby and the childhood days, only 1 monkey is carved here.
One monkey with a lingering feeling of solitude and an expression of bitterness sits looking at the future.
This implies its challenge for『independence』.

4th Side(Adolescence)

2 monkeys looking up into the sky with mouth curved in the shape of『へ』. The right side pictures a hazy blue cloud. This depicts the adolescence period which holds『great ambitions』.

5th Side(Devastation and Consolation)

A monkey looking down a cliff, one who consoles that monkey, and one who tries to jump over the cliff.
We are all bound to encounter the edge of a cliff in our journey in life.
This depicts the monkeys trying to overcome such obstacles while being consoled and consoling others.

6th Side(Love Troubles)

A monkey sitting cross-legged looking troubled and a monkey dangling from a branch beside it.
This depicts the troubles of love in finding a significant other.

7th Side(Obstacles to Overcome as a Married Couple)

2 monkeys seem to be getting along well after marriage, but a wave implying the『troubled waters of life』is pictured in front of the two.

8th Side(Monkey With a Large Belly)

Here, a pregnant monkey with a big belly is carved. A baby monkey grows to become a mother.
Burdens and happiness which can only be experienced as a parent. After the child is born, the story goes back to ①Days as a Baby.

Source:The Teachings of the Three Monkeys(Nikko Toshogu Shrine)


Exhibition Period
July 1, 2019~