By Igor I. Solar at Digital Journal
"Kinkaku-ji is among the most beautiful places in Kyoto. The location is a Zen garden with a pretty lagoon, dotted with miniature islands, and the site of one of the most loved Buddhist temples in Japan, known as the Golden Pavilion.
Zen Buddhism was introduced from China into Japan at the end of the 12th century becoming widely accepted among the Samurai class and the ruling warlords. The gardens of Zen temples in Kyoto in the 14th and 15th centuries were similar to the Chinese gardens of the time, including religious buildings set among small lakes and islands designed to stimulate meditation.
Legacy of Yoshimitsu, the third Ashikaga Shogun
When Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408), the third shogun of the Ashikaga Shogunate, abdicated in favour of his 9-year-old son Yoshimoshi to devote himself to religious life as a Buddhist monk, he requested that his estate, known as Kitayama-dai, would become a Buddhist temple. At the time of Yoshimitsu’s death, Yoshimoshi complied by dedicating the property to Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and Compassion, and re-naming the grounds as Rokuon-ji (meaning Deer Park Temple).
After the Kitayama-dai villa was turned into a temple, many of the luxurious buildings belonging to the Shogun were removed. Only one building remained on the site, the three story temple, with the second and third floors wrapped in gold-leaf, which became known as Kinkaku or “The Golden Pavilion”...
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