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Kamakura Hokai-ji Temple

A temple for appeasing the souls of Samurai

In 1333, the Kamakura Shogunate fell to the attack of the Nitta clan. 870 Kamakura Samurai of the Hojo Family committed hara-kiri because of their defeat. After that, Hokai-ji Temple was built at the place where Hojo’s residence used to be, for the purpose of appeasing the souls of those samurai. The temple grounds are almost always in the bloom of flowers: plum blossoms in spring, crape myrtle in summer, bush clover in autumn. Every year on May 22, the day the Kamakura Shogunate perished, they have a special ritual to relieve the samurai’s souls. 600 volumes of Buddhism sutras are read from cover to cover.

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