October 3, 2016
Yuri Kamakura, Akane Kaneta
Temple is one of the great Zen temples in Kyoto. It was founded in the Muromachi period by Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, who was a shogun at that time. Although, Shokoku-ji was destroyed by fire and rebuilt again and again, it has the oldest Zen lecture hall (hatto), originally built in 1605 and it is an important cultural asset. It has a large dragon painted on its ceiling.There is a wooden sculpture of its founder, Muso Soseki, in the Founder’s Hall (kaisando), which is only open at special times in the spring and fall. Also the hojo, the abbot’s living quarters in a Buddhist temple, a sutra library and Benzaiten shrine are all tangible cultural assets of Kyoto city.
The Temple’s Origin
“Shokoku-ji” means “helping the country” or “governing the country.” This terminology original comes from China. In Japan, the Minister of the Left (in medieval and pre-modern Japan) was called “Shokoku.” Yoshimitsu Ashikaga was the Minister of the Left, so his temple was named “Shokoku-ji.” In China, there are “Taishokoku-ji” which was a temple and the beginning Gozen or “Five Mountains” system. The Gozen system designated the top five Zen temples in Kyoto.
Kinkaku-ji and Ginkaku-ji
“Kinkaku-ji” and “Ginkaku-ji” are branch temples of Shokoku-ji. Kinkaku-ji was founded by Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. Later, Ginkaku-ji was founded by Yoshimasa Ashikaga.
Shokoku-ji has a wide variety of activities. Zazenkai or Zen meditation meetings are held for lay people twice a month. Since 1999, the Enlightenment Activity Committee was set up to explore proper measures for religious outlook for several problems in a modern society. They have regular study and training and publisha transcripts of lectures they hold in cooperation with teachers of various fields.
This museum is located in the temple grounds and contains many treasures. It has a deep relationship with the tea master Sen-no-Rikyu, so its collection of items related to the tea ceremony is substantial. On permanent exhibition are many important cultural properties, such a bokuseki or ink painting and the tea implements, etc. Now, this museum has five national treasure and many excellent cultural properties include 143 important cultural properties.
65years of age older・College students：600円
Junior and senior high school students：300円
Primary school children：200円
Zen meditation is a practice of Zen Buddhism; it is a means to wake up. People want to live like Buddha, sit and hope that get the enlightenment. Since it’s difficult to continue alone the temple holds zen meditation meetings. It’s encouraging if there are others doing meditation with you.
Every month second fourth Sunday
But there are flying off, be careful.
Zen meditation ９：００ ～ １０：３０
Lay sermon １０：３０ ～ １１：００
「Imadegawa」 near the subway station
「Doshisyamae」name of nearest city busstop