Kennin-ji was founded in 1202 by the priest Yousai, and it is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.
Yousai is known for introducing the Zen sect and the tradition of drinking tea into Japan.
He is recognized as the founder of the tea ceremony because of his efforts to encourage
the cultivation and consumption of tea.
Anyway, I went to Kennin-ji to meet another Tawaraya Sotatsu’s masterpiece, “Wind God and Thunder God”.
Entering the Hojo Area, you will be greeted by these two gods on a flat screen.
This is a super-high quality reproduction though, the genuine folding screens are now housed in Kyoto National Museum.
While working for Yogen-in, Sotatsu would have visited 33-gendo just in front of Yogen-in, where there are 1001 thousand armed avalokiteshwaras and 28 guarding god statues along with Wind God and Thunder God.
He is said to be inspired by their brave figure.
Being Zen temple, you can enjoy valuable Zen style (ink painting) sliding door panels around Hojo(Abbot’s chambers).
They are mostly Kaiho Yushou’s important cultural property works, also super-high quality digital remastered reproductions.
That doesn’t matter, thanks to the advancement of technology, we can see them as they were at that time, without glass cases.
Now let’s move to the Hatto(Dharma Hall).
You must be overwhelmed by two dragons on the ceiling.
This painting commemorates the 800-year anniversary of Kennin-ji’s founding.
This huge painting was created in the gymnasium of an elementary school in Hokkaido and
took the artist, Koizumi Jusaku,just under two years to complete.
Moving back to Hojo, let’s enjoy pieceful dry landscape garden.
Then while walking towards rooms backside, you will be heart warmed by these Zen paintings.
In the backside large tatami room, I met “Wind God and Thunder God” again in the folding style this time.
I really like Kennin-ji, made up my mind to come back soon.
For more information: KENNIN-JI