The gate of the city

“And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.” (Judges 16:3)

Sakuradamon Gate (Imperial Palace) Tokyo, Japan
Sakuradamon Gate (Edo Castle Imperial Palace) Tokyo, Japan

Two notable historic events at Japan’s Sakuradamon Gate:

1860 assassination of the Shogunate’s chief minister Tairo Li Naosuke who signed treaties opening Japan to trade with the United States and other western countries. Carried out by pro-Emperor nationalists who were resentful that Christianity was being tolerated in Japan.

1932 failed assassination attempt made on the life of Emperor Hirohito by a Korean terrorist. The grenade attack killed and wounded several Japanese dignitaries. The terrorist has been highly honoured by Korea for his “patriotism.”

There are two adjacent gates to a square courtyard that are both called Sakurada gate (‘-mon‘), the inner (‘uchi-‘) gate and outer (‘soto-‘) gate.

The 1860 assassination occurred outside the Soto-sakuradamon gate:

Inner Sakuradamon Gate
Sakuradamon (Sotosakurada-mon)

The outer gate has thick planks with separate structures at both sides: one entrance is called the Korai gate and the other is called the Watariyagua gate. The gates date from the mid-1600’s and were repaired again after the great 1923 Kanto earthquake.


The singular word “gate” appears 275 times (55×5) and the plural word “gates” appears 144 times (12×12) in the King James Bible.

First mention of “gate” is: “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;” (Genesis 19:1)

Last mention of “gate” (singular) is: “And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one : and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.” (Revelation 21:21)

Last mention of “gates” (plural) is: “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:14-15)


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