Zuisen-ji Temple (Kyoto City) (瑞泉寺 (京都市))

Zuisen-ji Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Ishiya-cho, Kiyamachi Sanjo-Sagaru, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City. Its honorific mountain prefix is Jishuzan.

History

Until the Momoyama period, the area was a sandbank on the Sanjo-gawa River. A rock discovered by chance during work on the Takase-gawa River (Kyoto Prefecture) had engraved on it the words Hidetsugu Akugyakuzuka (Hidetsugu Brutality Mound). This was the stone monument of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI who was ordered to commit suicide in 1595. Sojun YOSHIDA, the younger brother of the wealthy merchant Ryoi SUMINOKURA of Kyoto who was responsible for digging Takase-gawa River, was in the service of Hidetsugu. He avoided being implicated in the Hidetsugu Incident, but passed away in 1610.
In 1611 on the first anniversary of Sojun's death, Ryoi constructed Zuisen-ji Temple in order to pray for the soul of Hidetsugu and named it after Hidetsugu's posthumous Buddhist name 'Zuisen Jiden.'

For 400 years since its founding, memorial services in memory of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI whose death resulted from false criminal accusations, as well as his family and retainers have been held at Zuisen-ji Temple. As this area is near a sightseeing spot, the temple receives many visitors and there are many people who pray for the souls of Hidetsugu, his family, and retainers.

Hidetsugu Brutality Mound

Hidetsugu Akugyakuzuka (Hidetsugu Brutality Mound) was a burial mound containing the remains of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI alongside over 30 others including his wife, concubines and children, and was also known as "Chikushozuka" (Mound of Beasts) after Hidetsugu's nickname "Sessho Kanpaku" (lit. Murderous Kanpaku, the kanpaku was the chief advisor to the Emperor).

In the 7th month of 1595, Hidetsugu was convicted of a crime, stripped of his position of Kanpaku (regent to the Emperor), and ordered to commit seppuku at Mt. Koya on the 15th day of the 7th month, which was followed by the suicide of five others including Tonomo YAMAMOTO, Sanjuro YAMADA and Bansaku FUWA, and the presentation of Hidetsugu's head to Hideyoshi for inspection in Fushimi before it was put on public display beside the Sanjo-gawa River. Including Hidetsugu's many concubines and children, over 30 people were captured and beheaded beside Sanjo-gawa River on the 2nd day of the 8th month where they were buried with the head of Hidetsugu in a mound upon which was placed a stone monument into which 'Hidetsugu Brutality Mound, 14th day of the 7th month 1595' was engraved. Known as 'Chikushozuka' (Mound of Beasts), it was overlooked by all except an ascetic named Junkei who built a thatched hut beside the mound and prayed for the souls buried within. Following Junkei's death, the mound was destroyed by flooding, but in 1611 when Ryoi SUMINOKURA opened Takase-gawa River, he took pity on the remains, built a mound, removed the word 'brutality' from the stone monument, constructed a hexagonal pagoda and pleaded with the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun) to allow him to build a temple which was named Jishuzan Zuisen-ji Temple.

Graveyard

Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI gravestone (a stone chest containing Hidetsugu's head)
Five-ring pagoda for 39 of Hidetsugu's children and concubines;
Five-ring pagoda for 10 retainers who were ordered to commit suicide.

Temple treasures

Waka poems written before the deaths of the executed

Additional

The grave of Hidetsugu TOYOTOMI's body and his mother (Tomo; Nisshu) is at Zensho-ji Temple (Kyoto City).

A memorial service is held every year on July 15, the anniversary of Hidetsugu's death, by the head priests of Zensho-ji Temple and Zuiryu-ji Temple (Omihachiman City) at Mt. Hachiman (where Hachimanyama Castle stood during the time of Hidetsugu) in Omihachiman, Shiga Prefecture.