Saturday, June 1, 2013

Soken-in Temple

Soken-in is located within the large compound of Daitokuji (located in Kyoto), the head temple of the Daitokuji branch of the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism.  Founded in 1583 by the great leader of Japan's unification of the 16th c., Toyotomi Hideyoshi, it is the memorial temple for Oda Nobunaga (1534-82), who had led the reunification movement and whose rise to hegemony put an end to the hundred years of strife referred to in Japanese history as the Warring States Period.

Hideyoshi had the elegant temple Soken'in built on the occasion of the first anniversary of lord Nobunaga's death, having the priest Kokei Sochin serve as its founding abbot.  There is a huge wooden statue of Oda Nobunaga in the main hall, an old water well carved from stone from Korea, and the impressive main gate and wall.

The temple has the graves of Nobunaga, his sons, and his ladies.  For example, Nobunaga's lovely wife Nohime's grave is here as well his concubine Onabe no kata's.  Nobunaga's daughter Tokuhime's grave is here too.  Soken-in is only open for public viewing during the fall and highly recommended when visiting Kyoto.

Nobunaga no tame!

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