Shuzen-ji Shigetsu-den Temple

Samurai tragedy and a Chinese priest

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 1 min read

Michelin’s Green Guide introduced this small temple in the middle of Izu Peninsula as a two-star destination in Japan. Shigetsu-den Temple was built for the repose of Minamoto Yoriie (2nd Shogun of Kamakura Shogunate) by his mother Hojo Masako. Yoriie took on the position of Shogun when he was 18, but opposing samurai clans fought to push aside him. Eventually, Yoriie was assassinated while bathing here in Shuzen-ji. 95 years later, when the Chinese priest Issan Ichinei was confined in Shuzen-ji on suspicion of committing espionage, he wrote out the calligraphy for “Shigetsu-den” in a very unique style. I wonder how a high level Zen priest saw the bloody world of the samurai.

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Tomoko Kamishima

Tomoko Kamishima @tomoko.kamishima

Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS:  An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here.  日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。