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Sennyū-ji (泉涌寺),[1] formerly written as Sen-yū-ji (仙遊寺),[2] is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama-ku in Kyoto, Japan.[3] For centuries, Sennyū-ji was a mortuary temple for aristocrats and the imperial house. Located here are the official tombs of Emperor Shijō[4] and many of the emperors who came after him.[2]



Sennyū-ji was founded in the early Heian period.[2] According to one tradition, it was founded as Senyū-ji (仙遊寺) in 855 at the former mountain villa of Fujiwara no Otsugu.[5] According to another tradition, this temple was a reconstruction of an earlier temple, Hōrin-ji (法輪寺), which had been founded by Kōbō-Daishi in the Tenchō era (824-834).[3] The major buildings in Sennyū-ji were reconstructed and enlarged in the early 13th century by the monk Shunjō.[5]

Tsukinowa no misasagi
Gozasho Garden

Tsukinowa no misasagi
Emperor Go-Horikawa and Emperor Shijō were the first to be enshrined in an Imperial mausoleum at Sennyū-ji. It was called Tsukinowa no misasagi.[4][6]

Go-Momozono is also enshrined in Tsukinowa no misasagi along with his immediate Imperial predecessors since Emperor Go-Mizunoo -- Meishō, Go-Kōmyō, Go-Sai, Reigen, Higashiyama, Nakamikado, Sakuramachi, Momozono and Go-Sakuramachi.[7]

Nochi no Tsukinowa no Higashiyama no misasagi
Kokaku, Ninko, and Komei are also enshrined at Nochi no Tsukinowa no Higashiyama no misasagi (後月輪東山陵).[7][6]


Sennyū-ji's large nehan-zu painting depicts Buddha on his death bed. This massive image (8 meters x 16 meters) is the largest in Japan. The image at nearby Tōfuku-ji is the second largest of its kind in Japan, measuring 7 meters x 14 meters. Both images are only rarely displayed, most recently in 2003 for three days only.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ A guide to the Sennyū-ji Temple 1972.
  2. ^ a b c Ponsonby-Fane 1956, p. 113.
  3. ^ a b "Sennyu-ji". Archived from the original on 2011-07-08.
  4. ^ a b Ponsonby-Fane 1959, p. 422.
  5. ^ a b "概略" [Overview] (in Japanese). Sennyū-ji. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Sennyu-ji Temple, Kyoto".
  7. ^ a b Ponsonby-Fane 1959, p. 423.
  8. ^ "Kansai: Who -- What: Giant Buddhas shown for three days only," Japan Times Online. March 9, 2003.


External linksEdit