宝厳院   Click to listen highlighted text! 宝厳院

(hougon in)

Hōgon-in is a breathtaking subtemple of the esteemed Rinzai Zen head temple, Tenryū-ji, located in the Kamigyō-ku Ward of Kyoto, Japan. Founded in 1461 with the backing of Hosokawa Yoriyuki, a prominent deputy of the shogun during the Muromachi period, Hōgon-in is steeped in history and tradition. The temple was first helmed by Zen Master Seichū Eikō, a direct descendant of the legendary Zen Master Musō Soseki, who founded Tenryū-ji.

Despite its illustrious beginnings, Hōgon-in suffered significant setbacks throughout its history, including being burnt to the ground during the tumultuous Ōnin War (1467-1477). However, the temple persevered and was rebuilt, only to experience further struggles that led to its eventual relocation to Kōgen-ji, another subtemple of Tenryū-ji. It finally found its permanent home in the southwest corner of Tenryū-ji’s grounds.

One of Hōgon-in’s most iconic features is its exquisite “Lion’s Roar” landscape garden, which was designed in the 16th century by the renowned Zen monk Sakugen Shūryō. The garden is a marvel of natural beauty and meticulous design, showcasing the stunning moss, uniquely shaped rocks, and “borrowed scenery” of the surrounding mountains.

Visitors to Hōgon-in can marvel at the tranquil beauty of the garden and explore the temple’s rich history, including its extensive collection of art and cultural treasures. The temple is also known for its serene atmosphere, making it the perfect place for meditation and contemplation.

Hōgon-in’s architecture is a testament to the skill and artistry of Japanese craftsmen. The temple’s buildings are constructed using traditional techniques and materials, with intricate details and designs that have been preserved over the centuries.

In addition to its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, Hōgon-in is also renowned for its spiritual significance. The temple offers a variety of Zen meditation programs, allowing visitors to deepen their understanding of Zen Buddhism and explore their inner selves.

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