Konkai-Komyoji (Kurotani), built by Honen in 1175, is Jyodo sect temple in Kyoto. This three floors pagoda was constructed in order to pray for the repose of 2nd syogun Hidetada Tokugawa in 1633. In 1862, this temple became the government official inn for Kyoto guard Katamori Matsudaira (Aizu feudal lord). Why temple became samurai inn? The reason was :1. it was built on the hill as a natural fortress in Kyoto. 2. Good location for close to the emperor’s palace and important point for traffic. 3. They had many buildings to stay for about 1,000 people in the temple. Unfortunately 237 samurai of Aizu were killed during the strife at the last days of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and then 115 samurai died on the battlefield of Toba-Fushimi in 1868. There are their tombs here, and the memorial Buddhist service has been held on the 2nd Sunday of June every year. I heard even now 13th master of Aizu house, Morisada Matsudaira, attends on this ceremony.
I caught to the eye for the big pine tree. It is called “Kumagai Yoroigake-no Matsu” (the pine tree was hanged a suit of feudal arm by Naozane Kumagai). At the Ichinotani battle between Heike and Genji in 1184, Genji’s samurai Naozane Kumagai killed Heike’s captain’s young samurai Atsumori Taira (17 years old). After that, Kumagai felt so sorry and decided to become a monk here. This is one of the famous story of “The tale of Heike”, and became “Atsumori” in the Noh drama. Kumagai took off his fuedal arm and entered the priesthood.
At the next Konkai-Komyoji temple, there is Shin-nyo-do temple, built by Kaisan Syonin in 984, which is very famous for the beautiful colored of leaves in Autum. .