●About Kodaiji Temple
Kodai-ji 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.
The Temple Garden
This garden is said to have been designed by the landscape garden designer Kobori Enshu (1579-1647).
Houjyo (Main Building)
This building's interior was originally painted with lacquer and was coverd with exquisite gold decorations. The current building was rebuilt 1912 after several fires.
Otama-ya (Sanctuary) = Important Cultural Property
This is the special memorial hall enshrining Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Kita-no-Mandokoro. The small shrine and the dais upon which it stands are decorated with special lacquer work incorporating designs in gold.
Hideyoshi's Jinbaori (a coat worn over armour) = Important Cultural Property
Used by Hideyoshi it is mainly woven with gold and silver thread. It is said to have been made from a Persian rug.
Kodai-ji Zen Temple