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        Erin-ji Zen temple in Yamanashi, Japan

        Erin-ji Zen temple in Yamanashi, Japan

        Erin-ji is a quiet Zen temple surrounded by the Yamanashi mountains. It was built in 1330, when Nikaidō Sadafuji the military governor of the Kai-no-kuni administration asked the Zen priest and garden designer Musō Soseki (夢窓 疎石), also known as Musō Kokushi, to found the temple.

        At that time, it was a Rinzai Zen temple of the Engaku-ji branch. It was destroyed in the Ōnin war (1467-77), but rebuilt when the Takeda samurai clan appointed it to be their family temple. In 1541, it changed to be a temple of the Myōshin-ji branch of the Rinzai school. The famous daimyo Takeda Shingen (武田 信玄) is buried here.

        It is quite surprising that you only see a few visitors in the temple, given its importance, size and beauty. There is a small dry landscape garden and a big pond garden. Especially the pond garden is impressive. The temple also features a nightingale floor whose wooden boards squeak, when a person (or ninja) tries to sneak up to the building.

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        Contents:

        Introduction

        The monk and the garden

        Cold fire and spiritual enlightenment

        Architectural features of the temple

        The Zen garden

        10 pages, packed with

        42 great Japanese garden pictures

        in 14 MB (PDF)

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        • Size 14 MB
        • Length 10 pages

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