Kotoin Temple, one of the pagodas of Daitoku-ji Temple, the head temple of the Daitokuji sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism located in the northern part of Kyoto, is, of course, a temple of the Daitokuji sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism, but when I visited its precincts, I did not feel like I was visiting a Buddhist temple. I felt as if I was visiting a traditional Japanese house.
The reason why I feel this way may be because the Shoin here is a part of Sen no Rikyu's mansion that was moved here. It is said that the Rikyu residence in the castle was demolished by Toyotomi Hideyoshi and part of it was moved here to Kotoin.
When I heard that, I felt more and more like I was visiting a room in someone's mansion. In the center of the room with tatami mats, there was a table placed haphazardly with a tobacco tray and teacups on it. If there were cushions on the tatami mats, I would be tempted to lie down and relax.
Originally, the term "shoin" referred to the private rooms of priests in Buddhist temples. After the Muromachi period (1336-1573), the term was changed to refer to the living room and study of a samurai or court noble's residence, but the shoin of the Kotoin still had the feel of someone's private room.
April 29, 2021
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