Koho-an Temple (孤篷庵)

Koho-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 stands distant from the other sub-temples on the western edge of the Daitoku-ji Temple boundary. The name Koho-an Temple is derived from 'koho,' the name received by Enshu KOBORI from his master Shunoku Soen. It is not open to the public.


In 1612, Enshu KOBORI founded the small Koho-an Temple within Ryuko-in Temple (Kyoto City), a sub-temple of Daitoku-ji Temple, and named Kogetsu Sogan as founding priest. The original size of the temple is unclear but the fact that it stood within Ryuko-in Temple indicates that would have been very small. It was relocated to its current site in 1643. The temple was later destroyed by fire in 1793 but tea ceremony master and Matsue Domain Daimyo (feudal lord) Harusato MATSUDAIRA (Fumaiko) who revered Enshu rebuilt the temple based on the old drawings.

Koho-an Temple is currently served by Takugen KOBORI.


Hojo (Abbot's Chamber) (Important Cultural Property)
Also referred to as the 'hondo' (main hall). A formal tiled hip-and-gable roof structure. It was originally the kyakuden (guest hall) of Urin-in Temple that was relocated in 1797 after the temple was destroyed by fired in 1793.

Shoin (study hall) (Important Cultural Property)
A tatami mat-floored study hall named "Jikinyu-ken." Has a ridge tag dating from 1799.

Bosen Teahouse (Important Cultural Property)
A large 12 mat size room consisting of a nine tatami mat size area (including a single tatami mat for the host), a three tatami mat size area for companions to the guest of honor and a single bay width alcove. Rustic style teahouse design elements are incorporated with a translucent sliding screen in the wooden paneling below the mid-point of the wall of the host's mat adjacent to the alcove. The ceiling is known as a 'sunazuri tenjo' (a plaster coated ceiling) that displays the grain of the wooden boards. Although rebuilt by Harusato MATSUDAIRA, it is a faithful reconstruction of the teahouse of which Enshu KOBORI was fond based on drawings made before the fire took place.
The name Bosen is said to have been derived from the passage by Zhuangzi in which states 'Once the fish is caught, one can forget about the trap.'
The phrase is implicated in a state of enlightenment of Zen mediation and compares words and meaning to a trap and a fish by implying that just as the trap exists because the fish, words exist because of meaning and once you have the meaning, you can forget the words. A broad veranda lines the western edge facing the garden and the a translucent sliding screen separates the veranda from the garden. Only the lower half of this translucent sliding screen opens to give a view of the garden as if through a picture frame. A stone washbasin named 'Roketsu' and 'Yose-toro' lanterns made from stone collected from around Japan that can be seen from the tearoom are well-known.

Sanunjo Teahouse
A teahouse to the north of the shoin (study hall) is the size of four tatami mats plus one of less than normal size that is said to be modeled on the Mittan Teahouse at the Ryuko-in sub-temple of Daitoku-ji Temple.


The garden to the south of the hojo (Abbot's quarters) is a geometrical garden with plants pruned with straight edges. The garden to the south of the shoin (study hall) recreates the scenery of the eight views of Omi. These gardens are nationally designated Historic Sites and Places of Scenic Beauty.

Cultural properties

National Treasure
Ido Tea Bowl Inscribed Kizaemon
Created during the 15th-16th centuries. Ido tea bowls' are tea bowls that were made on the Korean peninsula for everyday use but became used by Japanese tea masters during the tea ceremony. Kizaemon Ido' tea bowls have been considered to be masterpieces among Ido tea bowls since ancient times. As the successive owners of this tea bowl including tea ceremony master and Matsue Domain Daimyo (feudal lord) Harusato MATSUDAIRA developed tumors, the bowl was donated to this temple which is so closely related to Harusato following his death where it has remained.

Important Cultural Property
Calligraphy by Daito Kokushi (Shuho Myocho)

Other cultural properties
Portrait of Enshu KOBORI
A depiction of how Enshu was imagined to have looked during his last years inscribed on the upper portion by Soen HARUYA who practiced Zen meditation under Enshu.

Image of Bodhidharma
An image of Bodhidharma painted by Bokkei who, like Sesshu, also studied under Shubun which features one of his main characteristics of using powerful, bold lines used to depict clothing.


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

[Original Japanese]