Hana no gosho Palace (花の御所)

Hana no gosho Palace is a popular name for the Ashikaga Shogun family residence that stretched over a space of 110 meters from east to west and 220 meters from north to south, surrounded by the current Karasuma-dori Street, Imadegawa-dori Street, Kamidachiuri-dori Street and Muromachi-dori Street in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto City.

This large piece of land came about because the land of two residences, Hanatei (literally, flower residence) of the Muromachi family and Kikutei (literally, chrysanthemum residence) of the Imadegawa family, were merged together.

It is located to the south of Doshisha University's Kanbaikan, across Karasuma-dori Street from the current Doshisha University Imadegawa Campus. A part of the palace's existing remains is the current Daisho-ji Temple, that started as Okamatsu dono (one of the buildings inside Hana no gosho Palace).

As the main gate faced Muromachi-dori Street, it was also called Muromachi dono Palace and Muromachi dai Palace. It was a long-standing practice to call it the residence of shogun 'bakufu,' that is to say 'the Muromachi bakufu' (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun).
From the mid Edo period, the term "bakufu" started to be used as a name of the samurai government, and this is the reason why the Ashikaga government is called 'the Muromachi bakufu.'
As it stood in Kitakoji Muromachi, it was also called Kitakojitei (Kitakoji residence). In this case, Kitakoji is the current Imadegawa-dori Street.


In the period of the Northern and Southern Courts (Japan), Takauji ASHIKAGA, confronting Emperor Godaigo, established a samurai government in Kyoto and, while he lived on the Nijo-dori Takakura-dori to act as a guardian for the Northern Court (Japan), the Second Shogun Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA lived in Sanjo bomon.

The connection between Hana no gosho Palace and the Ashikaga family began with Yoshiakira ASHIKAGA. Yoshiakira bought Sueaki MUROMACHI's residence, Hatatei, as his second residence and it was later offered to the Retired Emperor Suko from the Ashikaga family. As Hanatei became the gosho (Imperial Palace) of the Retired Emperor Suko, people began to call it the 'Hana no gosho Palace' but soon it dropped out of use.

In 1378, Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA, the third Shogun, started to build a new residence for the Ashikaga family on grounds stretching over a space of 110 meters from east to west and 220 meters from north to south, which included both sites of the Emperor Suko's gosho on Kitakoji-dori Muromachi-dori Street and of Kinnao IMADEGAWA's Kikutei, which had burned down. In 1379, the shinden (main house) was built and when the residence was completed in 1381, he moved there from the Sanjo bomon dai Palace. The fact that Kitakoji-dori Street is near Tsuchimikado dairi Palace and the Shogun's residence covered land twice as large as the gosho can be seen as Yoshimitsu showing off towards the court noble society.

It is said that in the garden, water was drawn in from the Kamo-gawa River (the Yodo-gawa River system) and flowers and trees of every season offered by shugo daimyo (shugo, which were Japanese provincial military governors, that became daimyo, which were Japanese territorial lord) were planted, resulting in the name 'Hana no gosho' (literally, the flower palace). Yoshimitsu held a range of events such as poetry events and kemari (a game played by aristocrats in the Heian period) events, inviting the Emperor Goenyu, kanpaku (chief adviser to the Emperor), Morotsugu NIJO, and others.

When he abdicated as Shogun in favor of his son, Yoshimochi ASHIKAGA in 1394, Yoshimitsu moved from the gosho to the newly-built Kitayama dai (Kitayama residence) (the current Rokuon-ji Temple). While Yoshimochi, who was said to be on bad terms with Yoshimitsu, left Muromachi dai Palace after Yoshimitsu's death, the palace remained the residence of the Shogun for a long time, as the sixth Shogun Yoshinori ASHIKAGA lived there.

It was burned down during the Onin War at the time of the eighth Shogun Yoshimasa ASHIKAGA. Later, Muromachi dono Palace was repeatedly rebuilt, although on a smaller scale, but it went completely out of use when the 13th Shogun Yoshiteru ASHIKAGA constructed Nijo gosho Palace in 1559 in the grounds where the residence of the Shiba Buei family, which was one of Sankanrei ke (three families in the post of kanrei, or shogunal deputy), and moved there.

Remains of Hana no gosho
After repeated destruction due to war and reconstructions, the original buildings from that time do not exist any more, but the Daisho-ji Temple, one of the Amamonzeki Temples (a temple run by nuns of noble women), started as Okamatsu dono which was built inside the residence ground, remains on almost the same spot as it was in those days (originally, it is considered to have been located in Okamatsu-cho Town but it is currently located in neighboring Gosho Hachiman-cho Town). The Daisho-ji Temple began when Yoshimitsu ASHIKAGA gave Okamatsu dono in Hana no gosho Palace to his lawful wife's aunt (Nobuko HINO, later called Ippon OKAMATSU (岡松一品)) as her residence.

[Original Japanese]