Kitayama Juhachi Kento (北山十八間戸)

Kitayama Juhachi Kento was a welfare facility that was constructed in Nara Kitamachi in the Kamakura period for protecting and aiding persons in serious illness, such as Hansen's disease. On May 3, 1921, the site was designated as a national historical site.

Location

454 Kawakami-cho, Nara City, Nara Prefecture

Summary

This facility was built by Ninsho in 1243 at Saidai-ji Temple. Initially, it was built in the northeast of Hannya-ji Temple. However, it wad destroyed by fire in a war in 1567, and then was reconstructed in the present site in the Kanei era (1661 - 1672). It was repaired in 1693. With a length of approx. 37 meters in the east-west direction, the building was partitioned into 18 rooms. With each room provided with a space of around two tatami mats (except one room with a space of approx. four mats), the inmates of the facility were provided with food, clothing and shelter. It is said that 18,000 persons in total lived in the facility.