Daitokuji Zen temple

I joined the special exhibition tour of Daitokuiji’s main buildings on 9th September. This tour is planned before the large-scale renovation that will continue for about 10 years. I was impressed to see the real paintings on the fusuma sliding doors and the hall ceiling drawn by Kano Tanyu. Among many attractions, I was most impressed by going through the sanmon entrance gate which is usually closed to the public. The upper part, second floor, of the sanmon gate was donated by Sen-no Rikyu(1522-1591), the greatest tea master. After the completion of the building, the Daitokuji people made a wooden statue of Sen-no Rikyu and placed it on the second floor to express their gratitude. However, this incident unexpectedly became one of the reasons by which Rikyu was foeced to commit hara-kiri suicide. Because Toyotomi Hideyosi considered that going through beneath the sanmon gate meant going through beneath Rikyu’s legs. Together with other factors, Hideyoshi got angry and ordered Rikyu to commit hara-kiri suicide. Rikyu never yielded to any authorities and stuck to his belief. Oh, it sounds cool!