A monastery that would be representative of the Edo Era
Daitoku-ji Temple was built by the monk Myouchou Shuuhou in 1315 but burned down during the Onin War. Afterwards, the head priest Ikkyu rebuilt it. It also became known as the final resting place of Nobunaga Oda who was laid there by Hideyoshi Toyotomi. It is a complete 7-temple compound with Chokushimon and Sanmon gates, the Butsuden main hall, the Hatto lecture hall and Hojo quarters for the abbot. The Hojo garden has been designated as a Special Place of Scenic Beauty and Historic Site for its dry landscape garden which is indicative of the Edo Era. Aside from the main temple, there are also 23 other sub-temples such as Ryogen-in, Zuiho-in, Daisen-in and Koto-in which are open to the public.
An episode involving the Important Cultural Property of the Sanmon gate
The beautiful vermillion Sanmon gate has been designated as an Important Cultural Property as the oldest structure at Daitoku-ji. It was originally a one-storey structure but the founder of the tea ceremony, Sen no Rikyu, added a second storey, after which it was called Kimokaku and there was a statue of the founder enshrined on the gate which infuriated Hideyoshi at having to pass under it. Sen no Rikyu was later forced to commit ritual suicide. It is said that the relationship between Hideyoshi who, with his affinity for the extravagant, loved the Golden Teahouse designed by the tea master, and Rikyu, who was also the master of Japanese simplicity and refinement, worsened gradually from invoking the former’s wrath on the Kimokaku incident.
Koto-in, a temple with a connection to Sen no Rikyu
Koto-in was established in 1601 by the military commander Tadaoki Hosokawa. The warrior was also well known for his role as a tea ceremony master and was an apprentice of Sen no Rikyu with there being many goods related to Sen no Rikyu at Koto-in. The parlor, Ihokuken, was the residence for Rikyu, and on the walls are what appears to be smears of rainwater painted in squid ink. The tea room that connects to Ihokuken, Shokoken, is said to be the room which was used by Hideyoshi for a grand tea party that had first started at the Kitano Shrine.