Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rokuon-ji (Known as Kinkaku-ji)

The buildings of Rokuon-ji had been used as a country estate by the retired shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (1358-1408) since 1397. After his death the estate was converted into a Zen sect temple (1422). The famous Kinkaku (Golden Pavilion) is a three storied pavilion decorated in gold leaf and is a national treasure of Japan (the most widely known building in the country). The pavilion was destroyed by fire in 1950 and was reconstructed in 1955. The temple's garden is a special place of scenic beauty. The lake surrounding the pavilion is known as "mirror lake." The temple is also known as the scene of the famous novel "Kinkaku-ji" (1956) by the prominent Japanese author, Yukio Mishima (1925-1970).

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