Konchi-in Temple (金地院)

Konchi-in Temple is a sub-temple within the precinct of Rinzai Sect Daihonzan (head temple) Nanzen-ji Temple located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.


Konchi-in Temple was founded in Takagamine of northern Kyoto at the beginning of the 15th century by Yoshimochi ASHIKAGA, 4th Shogun of the Muromachi bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun), who named Daigo Tokuki as kaisan (founding priest). The temple was relocated to its current site during the Edo period by the monk Ishin Suden, who was known as 'The Minister in Black' and had the complete trust of Ieyasu TOKUGAWA.


Main Hall (large abbot's chamber) (Important Cultural Property)
Said to originally have been part of Fushimi-jo Castle that was granted by Iemitsu TOKUGAWA to Suden and relocated to the temple in 1611. The interior is decorated with sliding panel paintings by Tanrei KANO and Naonobu KANO.

Kaisan-do Hall
The burial place of Suden in which an imperial scroll written by Retired Emperor Gomizunoo hangs and statues of the Sixteen Arhats stand along the left and right sides.

Hassoseki (teahouse with eight windows) (Important Cultural Property)
A three and three-quarters tatami mat-size teahouse built at the request of Suden of Konchi-in Temple and favored by Enshu KOBORI. The nobleman's mat (kinin-datami) and the combination between an alcove pillar with red pine bark and black-lacquered frames make it a typical example of an Enshu KOBORI teahouse. At the time of its construction, it had eight windows as its name suggests but this number was reduced to six during renovations made during the Meiji period. It is considered to be one of the three great teahouses of Kyoto along with Hoho-an Teahouse at Daitoku-ji Temple and the teahouse at Manshu-in Temple.

Tosho-gu Shrine (Important Cultural Property)
This shrine that was built in 1628 when Suden enshrined Ieyasu TOKUGAWA's hair and personal Buddha statue according to his will was compared to Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine at the time of its founding.

Akechi-mon Gate
Built in 1582 by Mitsuhide AKECHI within the precinct of Daitoku-ji Temple to pray for the soul of his late mother and relocated to its current location in 1868.

Romon Gate


Tsuru Kame no Niwa (crane and turtle garden) (Special Scenic Spot)
Suden had the garden designed for Iemitsu TOKUGAWA. It was created by Enshu KOBORI (there are many gardens are said to have been created by Enshu KOBORI but this is the only one for which supporting evidence survives). The garden is known as a representative Edo period dry landscape garden with a Momoyama period style.

National Treasures

Monochrome ink painting on paper of a cottage by a mountain stream
Believed to have been painted by an acquaintance for a Nanzen-ji Temple monk named Shihaku to depict his ideal hermit lifestyle and is known as the oldest surviving shosai-zu (a landscape paintings with an inscription of verses expounding the ideal lifestyle of a Zen monk).

Color paintings on silk of autumn and winter landscapes
These works are attributed to the Emperor Huizong, the 8th Emperor of the Chinese Northern Song Dynasty, and were once part of a set of four landscape paintings depicting the four seasons that included the summer landscape (National Treasure) kept at Kuon-ji Temple in Yamanashi Prefecture and the now lost spring landscape.

Important Cultural Properties

Main hall (large abbot's chamber)
Teahouse (Hassoseki)
Tosho-gu Shrine (main sanctuary, stone room and worship hall)
Monochrome ink painting on paper of landscape (Rokaku Sansui-zu)
This work is attributed to Motonobu KANO who established the Kano School style, and shows the new characteristics of the Kano School that he aimed to achieve.

Monochrome ink painting on silk of landscape
Attributed to Chinese Yuan Dynasty painter Gao Ranhui.

Honko Kokushi nikki
The diary of Ishin Suden, also known as 'The Minister in Black,' gives detailed accounts of the drafting of edicts including the Buke Shohatto (Regulations for Warrior Households) and events such as the Hoko-ji Bell Inscription Incident that led to the fall of the Toyotomi family.

Ikoku Nikki (the documents of foreign diplomatic summary by Suden)
Ikoku Tokai Goshuin-jo (The collection of letters bearing the shogun's scarlet seal)/Ikoku Kinnen Gosho soan (The draft of recent activities in foreign diplomacy)
Ikoku nikki Gokiroku zakki (The miscellany of Ikoku Nikki)
A pair of six-panel folding screens with words written in 1614 by Razan HAYASHI and the monks of the Kyoto Gozan (five great Zen temples of Kyoto)
Draft reply to Nueba Espana (present-day Mexico) written by Suden
Draft of Buke Shohatto (Regulations for Warrior Households)
This draft of Buke Shohatto was written by Ishin Suden. In 1615, Ieyasu TOKUGAWA had Suden and other scholars draft the Buke Shohatto which consisted of articles to which daimyo (feudal lords) should adhere including the encouragement of the literary and military arts and the prohibition of the construction of new castles.

Prayer written by Imperial Prince Koreyasu
A prayer written by 7th Shogun Prince Koreyasu for the memorial service commemorating 100 days since the death of his father and 6th Shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate Prince Munetaka (son of Emperor Saga).

Other cultural properties

Peony and long-tailed fowl carved black lacquer tray
Crafted during the Chinese Yuan Dynasty (13th-14th centuries). The carved black lacquer effect is achieved by applying multiple layers of black lacquer and then carving the surface with a blade to create a design.

The Buddhist pseudonym written by the monk Baikoku Genho for Suden when he was aged 13 in 1581, after which time he became known as Ishin Suden.

Portrait of Ishin Suden
A portrait painted by Tanyu KANO after the death of Ishin Suden who restored the derelict Nanzen-ji Temple.

Nine-strip Buddhist surplice
The nine-strip Buddhist surplice said to have been worn by Ishin Suden and made using Chinese fabric with bright pattern.

Ishin Suden yuige
A yuige written by Ishin Suden himself. A yuige is a Chinese poetic verse that high priests wrote for his descendants and followers just before his death.

Portraits of the 30 Founders
These portraits of the 30 founders of Zen Buddhism beginning with Bodhidharma were painted by Unkoku Togan, a painter in the service of the Mori family to whom Sesshu belonged.

Portrait of Saigaku Genryo
A portrait of Konchi-in Temple's 2nd head priest Saigaku Genryo painted by Tsunenobu KANO, a painter in the service of the Tokugawa Shogunate family, and with the inscription of Mitsukuni TOKUGAWA who was 2nd daimyo of the Mito Domain.


A few minutes walk from Keage Station on the Tozai Line of the Kyoto City Subway.

[Original Japanese]