Shinju-an Temple (真珠庵)

Shinju-an 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 connected with the unconventional Zen priest Ikkyu Sojun. With the exception of special openings, it is not ordinarily open to the public.

History

Shinju-an Temple was founded between 1429 and 1441 by Ikkyu Sojun who reconstructed Daitoku-ji Temple after it was destroyed by fire during the Onin War. It was destroyed as a result of the Onin War but revived by Sorin OWA, a wealthy merchant of Sakai City in 1491. Following this, the hojo (Abbot's quarters) was constructed in 1636 using funds donated by a wealthy merchant from Kyoto named Masakatsu GOTO.

Origin of the temple's name

When Yangqi Fanghui ('Yogi Hoe' in Japanese), who went on to become one of the founders of the Rinzai Sect in Japan, undertook Zen meditation at a ruined temple on Mt. Yangqi during a snowy night, the wind grew and snow was blown into the room. The temple's name (lit. Pearl Temple) was given by Ikkyu Sojun after the snow that had settled on the floor, which it was said reflected the moonlight and shone like the surface of a pearl.

Buildings

Hojo (Abbot's Chamber)
Constructed in 1636 using funds donated by a wealthy merchant from Kyoto named Masakatsu GOTO and contains wall and sliding door paintings by Dasoku SOGA and Tohaku HASEGAWA.

Tsusen-in Study
Said to be the dressing hall of the wife of Emperor Ogimachi that was relocated to its current site in 1638. The Teigyoku-ken Teahouse is attached to the study.

Teigyoku-ken Teahouse
A two and three-quarters tatami mat size teahouse with a decorative alcove placed behind the host's mat that is said to have been particularly favored by Sowa KANAMORI, founder of the Sowa-ryu tea ceremony school. The inner tea garden is partially obscured by the eaves and it is known for its skillful design that emphasizes the interior space. The packed earth floor area surrounded by the eaves and walls includes a washbasin and stepping stones. This teahouse is said to be the relocated structure of a teahouse favored by Sowa KANAMORI that stood at Kinryu-in Temple (closed during the Meiji period), a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji Temple and an ancestral place of the Kanamori family, but this is believed to be mistaken due to the fact that Edo period drawings at Shinju-an Temple show the Teigyoku-ken Teahouse.

Gardens

Hojo Eastern Garden (Historic Site/Place of Scenic Beauty)
A dry landscape garden created by Juko MURATA, developer of the wabi-cha tea ceremony style, that is thought to be the oldest at Shinju-an Temple and known as 'The Seven-Five-Three Garden' as it contains 15 stones in a 7-5-3 arrangement.

Tsusen-in Garden (Historic Site/Place of Scenic Beauty)
A tea garden that extends from Tsusen-in Temple to Teigyoku-ken Teahouse in which there are placed several stones and lanterns.

Cultural properties

National Treasure
Calligraphy by Daito Kokushi
The title on the opening page reads 'Kantokushinsenbo' but it is commonly referred to as 'Kankinbo.'
It is said to be a representative work of Daito Kokushi (Shuho Myocho) due to the bold, exquisite calligraphy style.

Important Cultural Properties
Hojo (main hall)
Study and Tsusen-in Temple: Included as part of the Teigyoku-ken Teahouse.

Kuri (monks' living quarters)
Monochrome ink painting on paper of bamboo, stone and crane attributed to Masanobu KANO (deposited at Kyoto National Museum)
Color painting on paper of portrait of Shaka undergoing ascetic practices in his search for enlightenment attributed to Dasoku
Monochrome ink painting on paper of portrait of Bodhidharma by Bokkei
A painting of Bodhidharma by Muromachi period painter monk Bokkei who is said to have been a disciple of Ikkyu Sojun with an inscription written by Ikkyu in the upper area reading 'Even Bodhidharma who pursued Zen asceticism would have considered the blooming flowers of springtime in his native India'.

Light-colored painting on paper of portrait of Rinzai-Osho attributed to Dasoku
Monochrome ink painting on paper of portrait of the white-robed Kannon
Color painting on paper of portrait of 6th Patriarch Daikan Zenji
8 monochrome ink paintings on paper of landscape attributed to Dasoku (sliding panel paintings in the western room of the hojo)
16 monochrome ink paintings on paper of flowers and birds attributed to Dasoku (sliding panel paintings in the inner room of the hojo)
5 monochrome ink paintings on paper of flowers and landscapes attributed to Dasoku (sliding panel paintings in the shoin room of the hojo)
8 monochrome ink paintings on paper of the Four Sages of Mt. Shang attributed to Tohaku HASEGAWA (sliding panel paintings in the eastern room of the hojo)
4 monochrome ink paintings on paper of the eccentric Zen priests Xianzi and Zhutou attributed to Tohaku HASEGAWA (sliding panel paintings in the clothing and begging bowl room of the hojo)
Monochrome ink painting on paper of portrait of Kannon
Monochrome ink painting on paper of landscape by Bokusai
Color painting on silk of portrait of the Eleven-faced Kannon with an inscription by Shuho Myocho
Four portraits of Ikkyu Sojun
Monochrome ink and light colored painting on paper of portrait of Ikkyu Sojun by Josen: The portrait best portraying the face of the rebellious and eccentric Zen Buddhist priest Ikkyu Sojun by Josen who was said to be the son of Dasoku who painted the wall and sliding panel paintings in the hojo.

Color painting on silk of Ikkyu Sojun (ume blossom image) dated 1468
Self inscribed color painting on silk of portrait of Ikkyu Sojun self inscribed (Fuyo Sorin-zo): The upper area contains a self-written inscription beginning 'Fukyo Kyokyaku Kikyofu' (lit. eccentric unconventional spirit creating disorder).

Color painting on silk of portrait of Ikkyu Sojun inscribed ZHANG Yingqi and dated 1485
Color painting on silk of the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons
This picture scroll depicting the Hyakki Yako in which a various spirits and demons parade through the night is the oldest surviving Hyakki Yako image.

Wooden seated statue of Priest Ikkyu
Letter written by Priest Ikkyu relating to the restoration of the temple gate
Calligraphy written by Nanpo Jomyo
6 calligraphy works written by Ikkyu Sojun
Yuige: A yuige (poem of teachings for disciples and future generations written by a high priest prior to his death) written by Ikkyu Sojun aged 88 years in 1481 before he passed away and beginning with words with the following meaning:
There is nobody in this world who can understand my Zen.
Even High Priest Xutang (founder) himself would be unable to comprehend.'
This allows us to see that Ikkyu believed his state of zen to be far superior that of even the revered Chinese founder High Priest Xutang-Zhiyu ('Kido Chigu' in Japanese).

Single-line calligraphy: A single line calligraphy work composed of two panels on which 'Shoaku Makusa' and 'Shuzen Bugyo' are written.
These first two sentences of Shichibutsu Tsukaige (Verse of the admonishment of the seven Buddha's) have the meaning 'Do not commit evil, do good deeds.'

Tetsuo Jiei Gento Hogo
Dai Tetsuo Jiei Gento Hogo Ge
Jikai Geto no Hoko
Ikai (instructions to successors)
2 Shinju-an Temple masu inscribed 1521 and 1524

Access

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