Thursday, September 2, 2010

Zen temple Kenninji in Kyoto

On the Kyoto trip, we visited Kenninji, a temple of the Zen sect. Kenninji has a very famous folding screen. It is the image of the wind and thunder gods. This is one of the national treasures of Japan, and a hallmark of Twwaraya Sotatsu’s work. (The image in this picture is a replica.)

Kenninji is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto, and was founded in 1202 by the priest Yosai (or Esai). Yosai is studied in China, and the one who introduced tea culture into Japan.


There are Buddha statues and dragon painting in the hall. The twin Dragons were drawn on the ceiling.

The painting is dynamic and dragons are very alive. I loved it.

Kenninji has a tea house, Toyobo, which is a typical Riky style. The tea house was used at a historical large tea ceremony, Kitano tea ceremony.



Kenninji has some gardens. Each one is unique. One has big rocks and trees with dynamic composition.

Another one is a simple courtyard with a single tree and white graves.

There is another courtyard. It is a beautiful moss garden with rocks and maple trees. People were looking out into the yard, and relaxing in the tatami rooms or at decks. I really loved Kenjinji. It will be definitely one of my favorite temples.

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