So is it certain that Kiyomori built the hall? The Heike Monogatari specifically gives his father Taira no Tadamori credit for having built the structure and filling it with '1001 images of Buddha'. Obviously, the Heike is quite suspect at times as a source, but Tadamori is generally known as having built Rengeō-in, the hall's 'official' name. Guess I'll have to get out my guidebook...
- Hmm. Yeah, I dunno. I poked around a couple of the books I have here (Sansom; Paine and Soper's "Art & Architecture of Japan") and they don't say anything one way or the other... But if you have other info, by all means add it in. I'd trust Japan-specific materials you may have over this Global History of Architecture... Thanks! LordAmeth 08:40, 10 August 2012 (PDT)
Here's the passage from the Heike (McCullough's translation):
"But Tadamori, during his term as Bizen Governor, built a Buddhist hall thirty-three bays long (sanjusangendo-Tatsu), enshrined therein a thousand and one holy images, and offered it in fulfillment of Retired Emperor Toba's vow to found a temple, the Tokujojuin. The dedication took place on the Thirteenth of the Third Month in the first year of Tensho (1131-Tatsu). Orders were issued to reward Tadamori with a province, and Tajima, which happened to be available, was given to him. The delighted Retired Emperor also granted him courtier privileges at the imperial palace. Tadamori set foot in the Courtier's Hall for the first time at the age of thirty-six."
The Enkyobon variant of the Heike greatly expands on the dedication and devotes several pages to the clerics and ceremonies that were held-and also of the craft groups Tadamori employed.
However, the guidebook sold at Sanjusangendo claims it was built at the request of Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa and was completed in 1164. It doesn't mention Kiyomori at all. This seems to be pretty well accepted.
Since the Heike is a war tale and has been shown to be fictional at times, I'd lean toward the 1164 date. Since the Heike largely portrays Kiyomori as a lout, thug, and villain, that could also be a reason why they ascribed this to Tadamori-showing Kiyomori doing something positive and pious would be at odds with the flow of the narrative.