Shojokein temple in Kyoto The history and origin of “Tatami temple”


Shojokein temple in Kyoto  The history and origin of  “Tatami temple”

Shojokein-temple is located on Kamiyo-ku in Kyoto.
It holds
“Tatami-Kuyou (a memorial service for the tatami)”
on April every year, so it’s called
“Tatami temple”.

First of all, tatami craftsmen who visited to see Kyo-tatami started to call it,
but Shojokein temple has other reasons to be as a “Tatami temple”.

The main temple called
is 120 tatamis of the breadth.
Usually the main temple settles the Buddha, and it’s divided to Naijin (inner temple),
sitting place for priests, and Gejin (outer temple), sitting place for worship visitors.

Gejin is tatami floored and Naijin is wooden floored at most temples.

But at the main temple in Shojokein temple, both Gejin and Naijin are tatami floored.
Since Edo period, it has been in this style and the number of tatamis is written on a picture of a floor
guide in Edo period.

The reason why it has been in this style is that here is related with Imperial Household
since long time ago.
When the building of Shojokein temple is damaged or burned out,
it’s rebuilt by using used building materials at
“Gosho (Imperial Palace)”.

Because of this circumstance that is using a part of building at Imperial Palace,
the main temple is all tatami floored as the remains of
“living space”.
This is a suitable and historical episode as “Tatami temple”!

Shojokeiin temple is close to various people in Kyoto.
Why can’t you visit “Tatami temple”?

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