Obai-in Temple (黄梅院 (京都市))

Obai-in Temple is a sub-temple located within the precinct of Rinzai sect Daihonzan (Head Temple) Daitoku-ji Temple in Murasakino, Kita Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture. It is not ordinarily open to the public.

History

Nobunaga ODA ordered Hideyoshi HASHIBA (later Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI) to construct Obai-an Temple to pray for the soul of his father Nobuhide when he first entered Kyoto in 1562. Hideyoshi reconstructed Obai-an after the sudden death of Nobunaga during the Honnoji Incident in 1582 but built Soken-in Temple, which was named after Sokeninden, the posthumous Buddhist name of Nobunaga, within the precinct of Daitoku-ji Temple as he believed that Obai-an Temple was too small to serve as the burial place of his master. The temple was renamed Obai-in Temple after Hideyoshi instructed Takakage KOBAYAKAWA to construct the main hall and karamon gate in 1586 and renovate the belfry, guest hall and kuri (monks' living quarters) in 1589.

Buildings

Main hall (Important Cultural Property)
A traditional tiled hip-and-gable roof building constructed in 1586 with the support of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI that clearly exhibits the characteristic Zen style. In 1977, it was disassembled and repaired for the first time in approximately 400 years. The inside of the building includes 44 sliding panel paintings (Important Cultural Properties) including 'Chikurin Shichiken-zu' in the inner room and 'Saiko-zu' in the Danna room that are the works of Togan UNKOKU who was a painter in the service of the Mori family and who had inherited the artistic style of Sesshu.

Jikyu-ken study hall
A 4.5 tatami mat-size teahouse named Sakumu-ken Teahouse attributed Joo TAKENO, the master of SEN no Rikyu, on which a work of calligraphy written by Shuho Myocho, who founded Daitoku-ji Temple, was hung to serve as the name of the building.

Kuri (Important Cultural Property)
This shingled gable roof building that was constructed in 1589 using funds donated by Takakage KOBAYAKAWA is believed to be the oldest surviving Zen temple kuri in Japan and retains a sense of what life was like within a Zen temple.

Karamon gate (Important Cultural Property)
Constructed by Hideyoshi at the same time as the main hall.

Front gate
As was the kuri, this was also constructed using funds donated by Takakage KOBAYAKAWA and underwent repairs in 2005.

Belfry
The bell was donated by Kiyomasa KATO in 1592 and is said to have been imported from Korea.

Gardens

Jikichu-tei Garden
This dry landscape garden created by SEN no Rikyu at age 62 features a pond in the shape of a gourd that was designed according to the wishes of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and a Korean garden lantern brought back to Japan by Kiyomasa KATO,

Hato-tei Garden
A simple garden in front of the main hall that is said to have been created during the Taisho era (1573-1593).

Sakubutsu-tei Garden
A garden on the northern side of the main hall that is said to represent the eternal cycle of rebirth.

Access

Take the Kyoto City Bus from JR Kyoto Station to "Daitoku-ji mae" bus stop (approximately 30 minutes) and walk.