Kaminarimon Gate to Senso-ji
The original gate, built by military commander Taira no Kinmasa in 942, stood south of Asakusa in Komagata. It was erected in the present location during the Kamakura period (1192-1333). At that time, statues of Fujin (wind god) and Raijin (thunder god) came to rest at either side of the gate.
People initially offered prayers to these two statues for the protection of the temple against natural disasters including typhoons, floods and fire. Over time, they became the subject of prayers for the benefit of the people, such as for a bountiful harvest and for peace in the world.
The gate was burned down in a massive fire in December 1865. After a period of 95 years, it was finally reconstructed by Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Matsushita Electric, the electronics company known for its Panasonic brand. The bold, dignified gate is known around Japan not only as a symbol of Senso-ji, but of the whole of Asakusa.