The Kaminari Mon is the gateway to the Sensoji temple. When facing the front of the red-painted gate, you will notice the powerful Wind God to the right and the Lightning God to the left of the gate. From the center of the gate hangs a 700kg lantern, making the gate one of the most noticeable Asakusa landmark. The official name of the gate is “Fuujin Raijin Mon,” meaning the gate of the wind and the lightning gods. Written on the lantern is “Fuuraijin Mon,” the abbreviated name of the gate. The original gate was built by Kinmasa Taira in the year 942 near present day Komagata area. It was relocated to the present location after the Kamakura period, with the Wind and the Lightning Gods dedicated at that time. The two gods were placed initially to protect the temple grounds from wind, water, and fire damage, but it is believed that their divine powers were later extended to pray for peaceful weather and rich harvest. The current gate was rebuilt in 1960 by Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Matsushita Electric Co., 95 years after the structure was lost the Great Tawara-machi fire on December 12, 1865.
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