Chishaku-in Temple (智積院)

Chishaku-in Temple, located in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City, is the headquarters of the Chizan school of the Shingon Sect.
Its honorific mountain prefix is 'Iobusan' and its title is 'Negoroji.'
The temple was founded by Genyu and is dedicated a set of two mandalas depicting both the Five Wisdom Buddhas of the Diamond Realm as well as the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm, with Vairocana at the center. As the grand head temple of the Chizan school, it oversees Kawasaki Daishi Heiken-ji Temple (a contender for the largest crowd turnout for the first temple visit of the New Year), commonly known as 'Kawasaki Daishi,' in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture; Naritasan Shinsho-ji Temple, commonly known as 'Naritasan,' located in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture; and Takaosan Yakuo-in Temple in Hachioji City, Tokyo.

Origin and History
The history of Chishaku-in Temple is complex and connected to Daidenpo-in Temple in Kii Province and Shoun-ji Temple built by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI for his beloved child Tsurumatsu, who died aged 3.

Chishaku-in Temple was originally a sub-temple (a temple that stands within the grounds of another temple) of Negorosan Daidenpo-in Temple in Kii Province (present day Iwade City, Wakayama Prefecture). Daidenpo-in Temple was established on Mt. Koya in 1130 by Shingon Sect monk Kakuban, but he left Mt. Koya due to doctrinal opposition, relocated Daidenpo-in Temple to Mt. Negoro in 1140 and established the Shingi Shingon Sect. Chishaku-in Temple was constructed as a sub-temple of Daidenpo-in Temple during the Northern and Southern Court Period by a monk named Shinkenbo Chosei and served as an academic temple on Mt. Negoro.

In the modern age, Mt. Negoro's Daidenpo-in Temple became opposed to Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI and was completely destroyed by fire in the Siege of Negoro in 1585. It is said that there were 2,000 buildings on Mt. Negoro at the time. The head priest of Chishaku-in Temple, Genyu (Gyosho 1529-1605) fled the temple before the Siege of Negoro and escaped to Mt. Koya with his disciples. Genyu intended to restore Chishaku-ji Temple in order to protect the teachings of the Shingi Shingon Sect, but over 10 years passed without his ambition being realized.

In 1601, the year after the forces of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA were victorious at the Battle of Sekigahara, Ieyasu granted the buildings and land of the temple attached to Toyokuni-jinja (Hokoku-jinja) Shrine (Kyoto City) (the shrine enshrining Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI with the posthumous name 'Hokoku Daimyojin') to Genyu and Chishaku-in Temple was finally revived. Chishaku-in Temple was further expanded in 1615, the time of third-generation head priest Tadatake INA, when the Toyotomi clan was deposed and the temple was granted the neighboring Zen temple Shoun-ji that was previously connected to the Toyotomi family. The post-revival Chishaku-in Temple was given the title 'Negoro-ji' and the mountain prefix 'Iobusan', a mountain still noted in Negoro today.

In order to pray for the soul of his beloved child Tsurumatsu (Sutemaru) who died aged 3, Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI built Shoun-ji Temple in 1591 and invited the Myoshin-ji Temple monk, Nanka Genko to serve as founding priest. The National Treasure designated wall paintings created by the Tohaku HASEGAWA school and owned by Chishaku-in Temple once adorned the walls of Shoun-ji Temple's Kyaku-den (guest hall).

This Kyaku-den was destroyed by fire in 1682, but the majority of the wall paintings were saved and survive until today. It is assumed that the unnatural order of the surviving wall paintings results from the re-arranging of those works that could be saved from the fire.

In recent times, there was also a fire in 1947 in which 16 of the National Treasure designated wall paintings of the Shin-den (Emperor's residence) were destroyed. The Ko-do (lecture hall) damaged in this fire was rebuilt in 1995. Before the reconstruction of the Ko-do, excavations were conducted in 1992 that unearthed the remains of Shoun-ji Temple's Kyaku-den and confirmed that it was the largest, most grand Kyaku-den in the whole of Japan.

Garan(Temple buildings)

The main gate (relocated former gate of one of the halls of Tofukumon-in Temple) faces the T-junction of Higashioji-dori Street and Shichijo-dori Street, and beyond this stand the halls including the Ko-do (reconstructed in 1995 after 300 years), the large study hall and the Shin-den. The large study hall is said to be the remains of Fushimi Castle. The garden in front of the large study hall has been designated a national place of scenic beauty of which SEN no Rikyu is said to have been particularly fond.

Further within the precinct are the other halls including the Kon-do main hall (housing the principal image Diamond Realm Vairocana and, in the basement level, a set of two mandalas depicting both the Five Wisdom Buddhas of the Diamond Realm as well as the Five Wisdom Kings of the Womb Realm), Myoo-den (relocated main hall of Daiun-in Temple, housing the principal image of Acala), Daishi-do (constructed in 1789 and dedicated to Kukai) and Mitsugon-do (constructed in 1667 and dedicated to Shingi Shingon Sect founder, Kakuban).

Other buildings include the Homotsu-kan (treasure hall) (housing the National Treasure designated wall paintings) and the Chishaku-in Kaikan (accommodation facility).

Cultural Properties

National Treasures

25 wall paintings of the large study hall, created by Tohaku HASEGAWA and his son Kyuzo HASEGAWA. The 25 works are as follows. Of the images of 'cherry blossoms and maple trees,' 'the cherry blossom paintings' are the work of Tohaku's son, Kyuzo, who died aged 26.

6 ink and color on gold leaf background paper images of pine trees and flowering plants
11 ink and color on gold leaf background paper images of cherry and maple trees
4 ink and color on gold leaf background paper images of pine and plum trees
4 ink and color on gold leaf background paper images of pine trees, sunset hibiscuses and chrysanthemums
Including 26 pictures pasted onto staggered shelves and on small cupboards.

Color on gold leaf background paper image of a pine tree and flowering plants: In fact a pair of two-section folding screens (byobu) but included with the 'large study hall wall paintings.'

Diamond Sutra written by Southern Song Dynasty Chinese calligrapher Jizhi ZHANG.

Important Cultural Properties

Color on silk Dojikyo mandala
Color on silk image of Mahamayuri
Color on silk image of Amida's Pure Land
Ink on silk image of a waterfall
Color on gold leaf background paper images of pine and plum trees: A pair of two-section folding screens (byobu)
Ekottarika Agama volume 29

Places of Scenic Beauty

Chishaku-in Temple Garden
The mountain is modeled on 'Mt. Lu' and the pond is modeled on the 'Yangtze River.'


Although not designated as cultural properties, the Shin-den has sliding partition paintings created by Insho DOMOTO.

3 minutes walk from 'Hakubutsukan Sanju-sangen-do mae' bus stop after taking Kyoto City Bus route 206 from JR Kyoto Station (5 minutes). 7 minutes walk from the Keihan Electric Railway Shichijo station.

Nearby Attractions
Kyoto National Museum
Sanjusangen-do Temple
Toyokuni-jinja Shrine (Kyoto City)
Myoho-in Temple
Hoko-ji Temple (with the 'Kokka Anko' bell in which literally means "May the State be peaceful and prosperous")
Kyoto Women's University
Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Museum

[Original Japanese]