Nikko is home to a shrine complex, set amid splendid mountains and surrounded by forests of Japanese cedars. The antithesis of the usually austere Shinto shrines, Tosho-gu is the dazzling jewel of Nikko. This shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieayasu, the first Tokugawa Shogun who gained control of Japan in 1600. Tokugawa Iayasu is arguably the single most important person in Japanese history, and was the inspiration for the main character in James Clavell's book Shogun. The Tokugawa Shoguns ruled Japan from 1600 until 1868.