Kinkakuji Temple

  1. Kinkakuji Temple is a strange building: it serves as a residence as well as a Buddhist temple. In 1397, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu of Muromachi Shogunate founded it as a cottage on Kitayama Hill. In 1419, After his death, a son transformed it to a Zen temple and renamed it Rokuon-ji from Yoshimitsu's religious name.
  2. The first floor of Kinkaku-ji Temple is formed of Heian noble style, the second floor, Samurai style and the third floor, Zen temple style. The roof of Hoke style is covered by thin wood dust while the second and the third floor are covered by gold leave. It is considered as a harmonious mixture of Hean noble, Samurai and Buddhist cultures: by using Japanese, Indian and Chinese styles, known in that epoch, at the same time, it has created an original architecture beauty.
  3. By serving Mt. Kinugasa as a borrowed scenery and arranging famous strange rocks to express Kuzan-hakkai (9 mountains and 8 oceans), the garden of "Chisen-kaiyu" style is well known as a representative of Muromachi period. Kyo-ko (mirror pond) is reflecting a splendid image of Kinkaku-ji Temple.
  4. On July 2, the 25th year of Showa Era (1950), at dawn, Kinkaku-ji Temple has been burned completely by an arson. The young man arrested confessed to have wanted to suicide with it. Novelist, Mishima Yukio (1925-1970), has written a novel about Kinkaku-ji, by using that event as a model and his work is considered as a master piece of conceptual novels. By losing his soul because of an abtract beauty, the arsonist will suicide tragedically with an imagination.
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Last update: February 3, 2020