Holy Resurrection Cathedral

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Holy Resurrection Cathedral
Tokyo Holy Resurrection Cathedral
Nickolai Cathedral
Tokyo Resurrection Cathedral, 21 July 2013.jpg
Tokyo Resurrection Cathedral also known as Nikorai-do
LocationChiyoda ward Tokyo
DenominationEastern Orthodox (Russian Orthodox Church
Founded8 March 1891 (1891-03-08)
Founder(s) St. Nicholas of Japan
Past bishop(s)Theodosius Nagashima, Vladimir Nagosky, Sergius (Tikhomirov)
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Shinito Okada (current building)
Architectural typeCathedral
StyleByzantine Revival architecture
Years built1929 (current building) (1891)
ArchdioceseJapanese Orthodox Archdiocese of Tokyo
Bishop(s)Metropolitan Daniel (Nushiro) of All Japan and Archbishop of Tokyo.
Tokyo Resurrection Cathedral, also known as Nikorai-do
Entrance to Nikorai-do (2007)

Holy Resurrection Cathedral (復活大聖堂, fukkatsu daiseidō), also known as Nikorai-do (ニコライ堂, nikorai-dō), in Chiyoda, Tokyo, is the main cathedral of the Japanese Orthodox Church.


The founder of the Japanese Orthodox Church Ivan Dmitrievich Kasatkin (1836-1912), later St. Nicholas of Japan, was an archbishop who devoted himself to improving Japanese-Russian relations during the Meiji period.[1] He selected the location on the hill at Kanda Surugadai. The site is on a height that overlooked the Imperial Palace. Today it is hidden among the many tall buildings erected since the 1960s.

The Cathedral in 1891

St. Nicholas toured Russia raising funds for the Cathedral. The edifice was planned by Dr. Michael A. Shchurupov, designed by Josiah Conder, and constructed by Nagasato Taisuke. The Cathedral was completed on March 8, 1891, construction having begun seven years earlier. Depictions of its exotic Byzantine architecture and the unique sound of its bell often appeared in literature and illustrations of the day.

The original Cathedral was seriously damaged in the Great Kantō earthquake of September 1923. The main bell tower fell on the dome, collapsing it, thus causing major damage to the Cathedral. Rebuilding the cathedral became a major task for the then-ruling bishop, Archbishop Sergius (Tikhomirov), who succeeded St. Nicholas after he died in 1912. Since Russia was no longer a source of funding, Archbishop Sergius had to look for funding within Japan. A significant amount of funding was raised by numerous concerts by the Cathedral choir, led by Victor A. Pokrovsky. The re-built Cathedral was re-consecrated on 15 December 1929, with a shorter bell tower, a modified dome, and a less ornate interior, according to design by Okada Shinichiro.

Despite the damage caused during the 1923 earthquake, the restoration preserved important original aspects of the building, as well as the adding new aspects of cultural importance. The Agency of Cultural Affairs conducted a survey of the building, and on June 21, 1962, Nikolai-do became a, Nationally Designated Important Culltural Property (国定重要文化財, Kokutei jyuyou bunkazai).[2]



  1. ^ Kenworthy, Scott M. (2010). "Autonomous Orthodox Church of Japan". In McGuckin, John Anthony. The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781444392548.
  2. ^ "国指定文化財等データベース" (in Japanese). 文化庁. Retrieved 2017-05-05.

External links[edit]

Media related to Tokyo Resurrection Cathedral at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 35°41′52.93″N 139°45′55.92″E / 35.6980361°N 139.7655333°E / 35.6980361; 139.7655333