Kinkakuji (Rokuon-ji) temple is very famous temple for the golden pavilion in the world. (It is covered by gold foil.) It was constructed by 3rd Syogun of Muromachi shogunate, Yoshimitsu Ashikaga. In the early morning of 2nd July 1950, it was set fire by a young priest Syoken Hayashi. (After the arrest, he died of disease in 1956. Before that his mother killed herself by throwing into a Hotsugawa river after questioning by police investigator.) This incident gave the society terrible shock, and it seemed as one of après-guerre crimes. The novelist Yukio Mishima wrote the novel “Kinkakuji (The golden pavilion) for the theme. I think it was created by Mishima’s sense of beauty so much. Tsutomu Minakami wrote a novel “Gobancyo Yugiri-ro” and nonfiction “Kinkakuji Enjyo”. Kon Ichikawa made a cinema “Enjo” in 1958. In this movie, the master priest of hero (arsonist priest) was not good person for the sacred priest. (I love this actor, 2nd Ganjiro Nakamura, Kabuki actor.) I heard that the modeled priest was nice, and he made every effort to rebuild Kinkakuji, therefore other priests of Kyoto felt sympathy with him and got angry for the novel and movie.
This pavilion was rebuilt in 1955. Kinkakuji’s architecture is very interesting. The first floor is 11 century’s Heian aristocracy’s residence style, Shinden-dukuri (A statue of Yoshimasa Ashikaga is setting). The 2nd floor is Syoin-dukuri, warrior’s residence style from 12 century. The 3rd floor is zen and Buddhism style. There is golden Phoenix at the roof ornament. The garden is wonderful Japanese strolling garden (Kaiyushiki teien). I think the color of temple’s gold contrasted green color of a pond and pine trees. This temple used to be designated a national treasure, but it was excepted from the list after the fire. In 1987, they repaired the gold foil which was as 5 times thick as normal foil (using 200,000 foils, 20kg). Repairing cost was about 740 million yen. In 1994, it was selected for the world heritage.
Tempiale di Kinkakuji
Temple de Kinkakuji