Kodaiji Zen Temple, Kyoto


This is a beautiful film from the Kodaiji Zen Temple in Kyoto showing the seasons, the buildings and some of the activities.

The film is without commentary until the last couple of minutes, and we are left to absorb the beauty and changing nature of the landscape for the first 20 minutes.

There is also some animation as gods and demons run and play around the Temple.

There is information on the Temple at the end, but I quote this from their website as a longer introduction.

It looks like a wonderful place to visit, and an even better place to live 😀

Kodaiji Temple is located north east of Yasaka Hokanji Temple at the foot of Higashiyama Ryozen Mountains in Kyoto. It is officially called Kodaiji-jushozenji Temple. The temple was established in 1606 by Kita-no-Mandokoro (1548-1624) in memory of her late husband Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-1598). Kita-no-Mandokoro was also known as Nene. She later became a priestess and assumed the name of Kodaiin Kogetsuni.

In July 1624, Sanko Osho from Kenninji Temple was welcomed as the principal monk and the temple was then named Kodai-ji. Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) (the first Tokugawa shogun) financed the construction of the temple, resulting in its magnificent appearance.

Currently Kaisando (Founder’s Hall), Otama-ya (Sanctuary), Kasatei (Teahouse), Shiguretei (Teahouse), Omotetmon (Gate to Sanctuary) and Kangetsudai (Moon Viewing Pavilion) are designated as important cultural properties of Japan. Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kita-no-Mandokoro are enshrined in “Otama-ya” and their graves lie under the state of Kita-no-Mandokoro.

Shumidan (dais for a Buddhist image) and Zushi (small shrine) are decorated with splendid makie (Japanese lacquer with gilded patterns) which is known as “Kodai-ji Makie”, typical of the Momoyama period. (late 16th century) The pond garden around Kaisando is said to have been designed by the great garden designer, Kobori Enshu.

Kita-no-Mandokoro received the rank of Juichii (the highest rank a woman could receive from the emperor) in 1588 and the title of Kodaiin from Emperor Goyozei in 1603. Kita-no-Mandokoro died on September 6th, 1624 at the age of 76.


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to see a set of stills click on the date at the top of the embed below


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