Murakumo-gosho Zuiryuu-ji Temple belongs to Nichiren religious sect and is the only Monseki temple among Nichiren temples. It is now located at the top of Hachiman Mountain in Shiga Prefecture.
The temple was built in 1596 by Nisshuuni, an older sister of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, so she could pray there for the soul of her son, Hidetsugu, who was forced to commit harakiri by the order of Hideyoshi.
At the time the temple was built, Nisshuuni was given the land Murakumo of Saga, Kyoto, and the name, Zuiryuu-ji, to the temple by Emperor Goyouzei. The temple attracted many followers from the Imperial family and politically powerful aristocrats and was recognized as a Monseki temple, which is a title given to a temple that had a close relationship with aristocracy, and was called Murakumo-gosho. In the Edo period, the temple was transferred from Saga to Nishijin. The monument of Murakumo-gosho is still present in front of the Nishiji Textile Center.
In 1962, Nichieini who is the 12th representative of the temple and had dedicated her life to restoring it, moved the temple to its current location, the site of Oumi Hchiman Castle, where Hidetsugu was deeply connected to.
Magnificent views can be seen from the temple of the beautiful line of Suzuka Mountains far away, the town of Oomi in the south and Biwa Lake in the east. After the transfer, the main building and the gardens were restored by followers. The temple is now open to the public and welcomes visitors.
Kameyama-juku was the 46th of the 53 post stations of the Tokaido Road in the Edo period (1603-1686). It was in the eastern part of current Kameyama City in Mie Prefecture. The town thrived as a post town and a castle town as well. There are a lot of historic sites such as the ruins of Kameyama Castle including the ruins of Edoguchi-mon Gate and Kyoguchi-mon Gate and the site where the Ishii brothers gained revenge.
In Ando Hiroshige’s “Kameyama” of his “The 53 Post Stations of the Tokaido Road,” he depicted a procession of a feudal lord ascending a steep hillside, under deep snow among the trees, to the entrance to Kameyama Castle. The brightness of snow is wonderfully expressed in this monochromatic ink painting, but at the same time we can’t help realizing keenly how hard it was to make a journey in those days.
Presently, there are many historic constructions remaining in the town. These remnants of an ancient castle town include a temple, which used to be a part of the castle compound, old samurai houses, and the right-angled streets.
Honjin was a special lodging established in a post station of the main national roads in the Edo period (1603-1868). It was built for use by daimyo, Hatamoto (direct retainers of the Shogun), government officials, Imperial envoys, Imperial family members, and Monzeki (Buddhist priests of aristocratic or imperial lineage). The word “honjin” originally means the camp or field headquarters of a general from the late Heian period to the early Edo period. Later on, accommodations for a general were also called honjin, and then it was diverted to lodgings for travelers of high social rank.
In most case, the proprietor of general office managing a post station (Toiya) or the village head officer (Nanushi) was appointed to be the proprietor of a honjin. Those who owned honjin were not warriors but they were given the privilege of wearing swords and a surname (myoji taito). They were also allowed to build the gate and the entrance porch for their private area.
The site where Honjin was built usually had an area of more than 3,300 sq m, and the main building was built in accordance with formalities, which included the Onarimon Gate and the raised room (Jodan-no-ma) as the main guest room. Presently, there are 13 honjin existing and open to the public. Among them, the largest is the honjin at Kusatsu-juku post station on the Tokaido Road. With as many as 39 rooms, a building area of 1706 sq m, and a site area of 4727 sq m, it is designated as a national Historic Site.
Ogo Castle was built during the Tenmon era (1532-1555) of the late Warring States period by the Ogo clan, who had served for the Uesugi clan during the Warring States period, then for the Hojo clan after the Uesugi clan stated to decline since the Battle of Kawagoe. The Ogo clan moved its bases to Ushigome Castle in Edo (present-day Tokyo) and changed its clan name to the Ushigome clan. In the Siege of Odawara in 1590, when the Hojo clan surrendered to Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Ushigome Castle was dismantled, but the Ogo clan became a retainer of Tokugawa Ieyasu. As Ogo Castle was under direct control of the Hojo clan, the castle was surrendered and finally dismantled in the Edo period. At the present time remain the masugata-mon (the square gate), the dry moats enclosing the gate, the earthworks of Honmaru (the main castle), which reminds us of the days gone by.
Sendai Castle is located on Mt Aoba in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Constructed in 1601, the castle is also known as Aoba Castle. Date Masamune established the castle during the Keicho years. For 270 years it was the home of the Date family and the Sendai clan's seat of government. Due to its inconvenient setting on a mountain, the Date family moved from Sendai Castle to Wakabayashi-yakata.
Sendai Castle is constructed in a circular enclosure system with Hon-no-maru in the center and Ni-no-maru, Higashi-no-maru and San-no-maru on the outer sides. The buildings are protected by Hirose River, and to the south by Ryu-no-guchi Valley.
After crossing Hirose bridge and climbing the gentle hill, one sees the ruins of the Ote Gate, which was said to resemble a reconstruction of Hizen Nagoya Castle. Ote Gate was destroyed by war, but today the restored gate and fortress give a a feel of the old atmosphere of the castle in former times.
Chugu-ji Temple is one of the three major Yamato Monzeki temples. It is close to Horyuji-temple in Ikaruga Town, Ikoma County, Nara Prefecture, and is associated with Shotoku Taishi.
Chugu-ji Temple was established in the 29th year of the Suiko Emperor period (621), when Shotoku Taishi changed a house of his mother, Anahobe-no-Hashihito Queen, into a temple.
After Sonchi Queen became a nun in the temple, Chugu-ji Temple became a Monzeki temple, one in which the imperial family or aristocrats live and train themselves.
The Miroku Bodhisattva statue, a national treasure preserved in one of the main buildings, was made in the late Asuka period and is the oldest example of marquetry work in the country. The figure, with its left leg folded under it and its right finger lightly touching its cheek, is beautiful and famous. 'Tenjukoku-shuchu' is a collection of valuable embroidery dating to the Asuka period. A princess, Tachiba-no-Ooiratsume, mourning over Shotoku Taishi's death, was ordered to embroider the other side. Now, you can see its replica in the temple.
Old Daijoin Garden consists of the traces of a garden at Daijoin Temple in Nara Prefecture.
In the first year of the Kanji period (1087), Daijoin was built as a Monzeki temple of Kofukuji, one of the seven major Nanto temples. In the fourth year of the Jisho period (1180), it was burnt down during the attack on Nara by Taira-no-Shigehira. It was subsequently renovated at its present place. In the third year of the Hotoku period (1451), it was burnt down again, but Jinson, a monk of Daijoin, rebuilt it and it was Zeami who made a garden at that time.
Daijoin Garden remained as the best garden in Nanto until the end of the Edo period. In the Meiji period, because of the government's oppression of Buddhism, it disappeared. In 1909, the site was reused as part of the Nara Hotel.
Now, the garden is being renovated and you can see some parts of it at the Daijoin Garden Museum, to the south of the garden.
Sanzen Temple, located in the Ohara Sakyo ward, Kyoto city, is the temple of the Tendai sect. Its central buddha statue is Yakushi-nyorai.
It is one of the three major Tendai sect temples along with Shoren Temple and Myoho Temple. In the seventh year of Enryaku period, 788, when Saicho set out to Enryaku Temple in Mt,Hiei, he established 'Enyu-bou' at Toto-nanya in Mt.Hiei, which had the statue of Yakushi-nyorai; this is the origin of the Sanzen Temple.
It is also called 'Nashimoto-mon-ato' because there are big pear trees called nashi near Enyu-bo. It also has other names, 'Entoku-temple', 'Kajii-mon ato', 'Kajii-gosho' and 'Kajii-gu'.
The name Sanzen Temple started being used after the main temple of Sanzen moved to Ohara in 1871. At that time, Amida-dou-ojou-Gokuraku Temple was brought into the Sanzen Temple.
It also has a national treasure, Amida-sanzou statue.