Thursday, October 23, 2008

Koetsu-ji Temple (Kyoto)

In Takagamine, in the northern part of Kyoto, stands Koetsu-ji, famous for a fence of bamboo designed by the artist Honami Koetsu. Koetsu-ji Temple, formally named Taikyo-san, is a temple of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism. In 1615, having received land in this area from Tokugawa Ieyasu, the artist Honami Koetsu settled there with his family and a group of artists, establishing an artisan community. As well as being a connoisseur of swords, Koetsu was accomplished in many other fields. Including calligraphy, ceramics, painting and maki-e lacquer decoration. Koetsu was also active as a teacher of the arts and crafts. The temple was originally a mortuary for the Honami family. After the death of Koetsu, Nichiji, a priest of the Honpo-ji Temple, was asked to convert the mortuary into a temple.

Entrance to Koetsu-ji Temple

Temple Bell

One of the family's mortuaries

Mount Takagamine

The Fence of the Reclining Ox in front of the Taiko-an tea-house. The fence is not original but is influenced by Koetsu's original design. The fence is meant to enhance the aesthetic appeal of the tea-house.

Tea ceremony house

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