Ryoko-in Temple (Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City) (龍光院 (京都市左京区))

Ryoko-in Temple is a sub-temple within the precinct of Pure Land Sect Daihonzan (Head Temple) Konkaikomyo-ji Temple located in Kurodani-cho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture.


Ryoko-in Temple was founded by Katsutoshi TAKIGAWA, a Buddhist monk and Governor Hashiba of Shimousa Province. Katsutoshi TAKIGAWA's daughter was extremely beautiful and received the attention of Kita no Mandokoro. Kita no Mandokoro had a Yi Dynasty Korean man who was captured as a prisoner of war during Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI's military campaign on the Korean Peninsula serve as Katsutoshi's daughter's servant. However, his daughter passed away at the age of 17. Mourning the death of his daughter, Katsutoshi founded a sub-temple at Konkaikomyo-ji Temple. He named this sub-temple Ryoko-in Temple after his daughter's posthumous Buddhist name 'Ryokoin' and it served as a place to pray for the happiness of her soul in the afterlife. After her death, her servant entered the Buddhist priesthood and took the name Sogon. He returned to Kurodani following a long period of training and devoutly recited the nenbutsu (a Buddhist invocation) in front of Katsutoshi's daughter's grave at the Ryoko-in Temple graveyard. Sogon went on to found Saiun-in Temple and live a life dedicated to the nenbutsu. During the Meiji era, the temple briefly underwent a period during which it was not served by a head priest as a result of factors including the anti-Buddhist movement. The current temple complex was formed when neighboring sub-temples became merged with Ryoko-in Temple. The main hall is said to be the original that was constructed at the time of the temple's founding. Of all of the sub-temples at Konkaikomyo-ji Temple, the Ryoko-in Temple is the only one that has a graveyard. The autumn leaves, there, are extremely beautiful.


Ryokoin-den Graveyard
Daughter of Governor Hashiba of Shimousa Province, passed away on March 1, 1605.
Tanaka Yoshimasa Graveyard
When Yoshimasa TANAKA, lord of the 320,000-koku Yanagawa Domain passed away at an inn in Fushimi in 1609, he was buried without a funeral in an honored plot at the western graveyard of Ryoko-in Temple as his territory was in distant Kyushu. In March 2008, a Buddhist memorial service marking 339 years since the death of Yoshimasa TANAKA was held at the Ryoko-in Temple main hall.

In writings such as those by Hitoshi NAKANO, it is stated that the grave of Yoshimasa TANAKA is managed by Saio-in Temple (a sub-temple of Konkaikomyo-ji Temple), but this is a mistake and the description in the posthumous manuscripts of Kiyoshi KATSUKI that say his grave is at Ryoko-in Temple in Kurodani of Kyoto is correct. This mistake was discovered after the Second World War when the Kurodani Pure Land Sect centered around Konkaikomyo-ji Temple and the Honpa Pure Land Sect centered around Chion-in Temple separated from the Pure Land Sect before the Honpa Pure Land Sect returned in 1961 and the Kurodani Pure Land Sect returned in 1977. It is said that this theory appeared during this period because at that time, the Konkaikomyo-ji and Saio-in Temples belonged to a different sect from Ryoko-in Temple.

[Original Japanese]