April 10, 2008
by Ayaka Okochi
Ashikaga Takauji built Toji-in, a Rinzai Zen temple, in 1341 at the southern foot of Mt. Kinugasa. He asked Muso Soseki, who was a famous gardener as well as the founder of Tenryuji Temple, to make the garden. Toji-in is affiliated with the Tenryuji sect.
Points of Interest
The painting of Daruma
Visitors to the temple can see this famous painting near the entrance. Daruma
is credited with bringing Buddhism from India to China and founding the Zen sect
of Buddhism. So his image is often seen in Zen temples. Another image of him can be
seen at Tenryuji Temple in Arashiyama. He can easily be recognized by his big eyes and round head.
This garden made by Muso Soseki consists of two parts. The easten section
of the garden is called “shinji-chi,” and the western section is called “fuyo-chi.”
Shinji- chi consists of gentle scenery that has depth, while fuyo-chi features
many flowers and arranged stones. The pond is in the shape of the Chinese character
for “mind,” kokoro, (心), so it is called “shinji-chi.”
There are fifteen wooden statues of the Ashikaga Shoguns, from Ashikaga Takauji
to Ashikaga Yoshiaki, enshrined in this building. Images of Daruma and Muso Soseki flank
the central image of Jizo Bodhisattva. The Ashikaga family statues are enshrined on the right and
left sides of the Reiko-den. Each character seems to speak about the world of
the Muromachi period to those visitors who are quiet.
Location and Cost
Toji-in is located south of Ritsumeikan University, about 5 minutes on foot from Toji-in Station
on the Keifuku Kitano Line.
Entry fee is 500 yen.
- Tojiin Temple brochure