Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Takuan Temple Izushi


Takuan Dera is a popular name for Sukyoji Temple in the former castle town of Izushi, Hyogo.

The name comes from Takuan Soho, a locally-born man who became quite a famous monk and for a while lived at the temple. His name has been given to the daikon radish pickles that it is said he invented while here.

The temple was founded at the end of the 14th Century and grew to be quite a sizable monastery and served as the family temple of the ruling clan. During the Warring States period the temple was mostly destroyed.

Along the approach road to the temple are several other temples with one having some rather unusual, carved wooden statues seen in the above two photos.

Takuan Soho returned to Izushi in 1616 at the request of the new Daimyo and began reconstructing the temple. He stayed 8 years and is said to have designed several of the gardens now at the temple. He is also said to have been a teacher of the famed swordsman Miyamoto Musashi.

The gardens are a popular attraction, especially in the Autumn, but the temple is also known for its "Zen Experience" activities that can be booked in advance.

This includes traditional temple food, including the famed pickles, and also sutra copying and other activities.

The primary activity though is zazen seated meditation, done in a meditation hall under the watchful eyes of a sword-yielding statue of Benzaiten

The previous post in this series on Toyooka and Izushi was the gardens of Sukyoji Temple.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post - enjoyed each of the photos.