- 1 min read

Gio-ji: A Rustic Temple in Okusaga

A tragic nunnery hidden deep in a bamboo grove

Gio-ji Temple is a nunnery located deep in the Sagano district of Kyoto, at the back of 'Sagano Bamboo Forest'. This temple is renowned for its beautiful moss garden, but there is one more thing that makes this temple very famous, which is the sad story that goes with it.

A long long time ago, in the Heian period (794-1185), a Shirabyoshi (female dancer prominent in the Japanese Imperial Court) was loved dearly by a powerful samurai leader, but she was later deserted by this lover. In deep despair, she forsook the world, and became a nun together with her sister, who was also a popular dancer.

The above mentioned deserted lover was Gio, and her sister Gijo, her mother Toji, and Gio's ex-lover's new lover (who replaced Gio) Hotoke-goze; ALL of these four women became nuns and spent the rest of their lives here in this nunnery...because of the callous lover Taira no Kiyomori, who deserted Gio, replaced her with Hotoke-goze, breaking everyone's heart on the way!

I wonder how they looked up these brilliant maple leaves here while living a quiet nun's life.

More info

Find out more about Gioji Temple.

Was this article helpful?
Help us improve the site
Give Feedback

Thank you for your support!

Your feedback has been sent.