Do you know the history of Kyoto’s spots you plan to visit?


If you plan to visit Kyoto, you would check the popular spots on the tourism websites.
And, you would say “Let’s go to the popular spot in Kyoto for now!”
The idea is not in itself a bad one.
But if you know the history of the popular spots, you can more have fun with your trip.

So, I will describe the history of the top three popular spots in Kyoto as follows.

The following are the most popular spots in Kyoto which are introduced on the famous tourism website “lonely planet”
I will paste the URL link of “lonely planet” to the bottom of this article.


Portrait of KINKAKU-JI


KINKAKU-JI was built substantially by shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga on 1397.                                        Yoshimitsu Ashikaga(September 25, 1358 – May 31, 1408) was the 3rd shogun of Muromachi period in Japan.

At that time, the Emperor had great symbolic authority but little political power. On the other hand, Shogun was virtually the ruler with his military power as a background.The situation was similar to the relationship between the Pope and the Holly Roman Emperor.


Yoshimitsu Ashikaga(September 25, 1358 – May 31, 1408)

However, the shogun’s power in the middle ages was not as powerful as absolute monarchism in the early modern times.

So, Yoshimitsu destroyed his several retainers getting powerful with a stratagem and war.

As a result Yoshimitsu became the most powerful shogun and ruler in the Muromachi period.

Yoshimitsu built KINKAKU-JI to display his power.


Portrait of GINKAKU-JI

GINKAKU-JI was stated to be built by shogun Yoshimasa Ashikaga on 1460.                                        Yoshimasa Ashikaga(January 20, 1436 – January 27, 1490) was the 8rd shogun of Muromachi period in Japan.

Under the rule of Yoshimasa, shogun’s power fell down.

Because late shogun-Yoshinori Ashikaga who was Yoshimasa’s father was assassinated by his senior vassal.

Yoshimasa had serious oroblem with internal troubles of his vassals and his successor throughout his life.

Yoshimasa Ashikaga(January 20, 1436 – January 27, 1490)

Yoshimasa became progressively less interested in political affairs. On the other hand, he came to put weight on cultural affairs.

In his such later years, He started building GINKAKU-JI. And after his death, it was completed.

Next time…

So far, I’ve explained history of KINKAKU-JI and GINKAKU-JI

In the next article, I’ll show you history of KYOMIZU-DERA and ENRYAKU-JI

Don’t miss it!

See you next!

Yosuke Arimitsu



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