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Photo by Myouran Shibata 

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Head temple of the Rinzai sect
Myoshin-ji Temple,

Daiou-in Temple

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Daiou-in is a Zen temple of the Rinzai sect in Kyoto.

It was built in 1603 by Mitsutada Ishiko, a chief retainer of the Owari clan, as his father's family temple, with a monk named Genjo Enan as its founder. Among the various halls of the temple, the “Hondo”(main temple) and “Shoin” were rebuilt in 1726, and the “Kuri” (Living space for people living in a temple)was renovated at the end of the Edo period. The sliding door paintings in the main hall are by 「Zeshin Shibata」, who was active from the late Edo period to the early Meiji period. The main gate, main temple, and Kuri are designated cultural properties by Kyoto Prefecture.

The garden with moss and pine trees is very beautiful, and the pond on the east side of the garden is rare within Myoshinji Temple.


Visit/Goshuin stamps

The temple is usually not open to the public. You can visit the shrine through the “Spring and Autumn Special Visit”or the “Special Reservation Visit”. Goshuin stamps will only be written during the period when the temple is open to the public. Bookings are required for the Goshuin, which is handwritten by the chief priest.

Please make a reservation using the reservation link.

The goshuin book with beautiful botanical pictures is also very beautiful and popular, so we recommend it.

It is currently out of viewing period.

The next viewing period will be

from May 24th (Fri) to May 26th (Sun)2024.

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Zeshin Shibata

Written by Zeshin Shibata,

Fusuma painting of the main temple of Daiou-in Temple

A lacquer craftsman, painter, and Japanese painter who was active from the end of the Edo period to the middle of the Meiji period.

The Fusuma painting of the main temple of Daiou-in Temple is drawn by Zeshin Shibata.


He was a  lacquer craftsman, painter, and Japanese painter who was active from the end of the Edo period to the middle of the Meiji period.

He is said to be a genius known only to those in the lacquer art. He created many outstanding works with transcendental skill and outstanding taste. Some of these techniques cannot be reproduced even with the skills of Japan's greatest craftsmen today.

There is an anecdote that Kuniyoshi Utagawa, an ukiyo-e artist who is popular even today, was moved by Zeshin's fan paintings and became his disciple, giving Kuniyoshi the title “Senshin”.

The 72 walls of the main hall at Daiou-in Temple were created in 1830 when Zeshin was 24 years old.

He traveled to Kyoto to study the Shijo school of painting more deeply, and at the end of his training, he took up painting at our temple.

Zeshin later returned to Edo and continued to be active, but many of his works were destroyed in the Great Edo Fire, and his stylish style, which was light and stylish and full of spirit, was liked by Westerners, and many of his surviving works are located overseas.

For this reason, Zeshin's remaining works in Japan are valuable, and the Daiou-in fusuma painting, a large handwritten work by the young Zeshin, is one of the most important works in understanding Shibata Zeshin.


Fusuma Painting Project 

"Chigusano-hana-no-maru" Fusuma-e

(Paintings of Thousand Varieties of Circular Flower Motifs on Japanese Sliding Doors)

Meiji Palace, which was the imperial residence of the Meiji Imperial Family, had a hall called Chigusa no Ma, which had a large flower-maru ceiling by Zeshin Shibata. It was a majestic and beautiful room with 113 types of flower circles painted all over the coffered ceiling.

This flower circle diagram became the basis and model for the flower circles drawn by later generations of artists.

The ceiling painting was lost in the war, so all that remains is the sketch handwritten by Zeshin (in the collection of the Tokyo University of the Arts Art Museum), but based on that sketch, the circle of flowers was revived as a fusuma painting. To this end, we have launched the ``Daioin Fusuma Painting Project.''

It was painted by Yasukawa Nyofu, a ``miyaeshi’’(Artist specializing in temples and shrines) who is the only one in Japan. Yasukawa has been involved in the restoration and coloring of national treasures and important cultural properties for many years as an artist, and is a person who has protected traditional Japanese art.

This project, which was launched in 2017, was made possible by the cooperation of many people.

The project completed in the fall of 2020 with 43 types of flower circles and 18 sliding doors


We hope that the beautiful flowers we have completed this time will soothe people's hearts throughout the ages and contribute to the promotion of Japanese art and art.


Daiou-in Chief Priest Houkan Ishiko


(water harp)

It is a mechanism that allows water droplets to fall into a cavity created in the ground, and the sound emitted at that time is echoed, so when you sprinkle water on it, you can hear a cool sound.

The Suikinkutsu at Daiou-in Temple was a special gift from the Ishiko family, the chief retainers of the Owari clan.


52 Hanazonomyoshinjicho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, 616-8035, Japan


10 minutes walk from JR “Hanazono Station”

8 minutes walk from Randen “Myoshinji Station”

5 minutes walk from City Bus Route 26 “Myoshinji Kitamon-mae”


Please email us with any questions

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