The famous Akamon (or “Red Gate”) of the University of Tokyo was constructed in 1827 and is one of very few surviving structures from the Edo era. At that time, the land which later became the Hongo Campus was occupied by the Edo residence of the Kaga-han (one of the old feudal aristocratic families of Japan). The gate was constructed and painted red in accordance with a custom observed at that time whenever a daughter of a Shogun married into one of the other aristocratic families. Only daimyo (feudal lords) of the highest stature were permitted to build gates of this size and style. It is the only gate of its kind remaining in the whole of Japan. It was moved to its current location (15m west of its original position) at the end of the Meiji era. The white gravel now surrounding it is the result of landscaping work carried out in 2002.
Prof. Shogo KISHIDA, Graduate School of Engineering