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  • Founded: 1337
  • Japanese: 天授庵 (Tenju-an)

Tenju-an is a sub-temple (tatchû) of Nanzen-ji, one of the top Zen temples in Kyoto. It is dedicated to Daimin-kokushi, third chief priest of Tôfuku-ji and founder of Nanzen-ji.

The sub-temple was built in 1337, following a request the previous year by Kokanshiren, 15th chief priest of Nanzen-ji, to Retired Emperor Kôgon, for permission to construct a sub-temple honoring the memory of Daimin-kokushi.

The temple was destroyed by fire in 1447, along with much of the rest of Nanzen-ji, and suffered further damage during the Ônin War, finally being rebuilt in the late 16th century, as the chaos and warfare of the Sengoku period began to die down. Nanzen-ji asked the Zen priest Genporeisan to oversee the reconstruction; he appointed Ungakureikei the new head of the Tenju-an, and got Hosokawa Yûsai to fund the project. With Yûsai's support, the temple's Main Hall, Main Gate, and Study were completed in 1602; these structures survive today.

The Main Hall contains a life-size statue of Daimin-kokushi and the memorial tablets of Hosokawa Yûsai and his wife, along with 32 fusuma (sliding door) paintings by Hasegawa Tôhaku; these were also completed in 1602, and have been designated Important Cultural Properties. The temple also holds a self-portrait of Daimin-kokushi, believed to be the only extant work by the priest, as well as portraits of Shôichi-kokushi, the priest Heiden, and of Hosokawa Yûsai and his wife, all of which have also been designated Important Cultural Properties.

Tenju-an features a rock garden in the front, eastern, part of the grounds, as well as another garden in the south, both displaying standard features of 14th century garden design, and likely constructed alongside the temple in the late 1330s. Some parts of the gardens were remodeled, however, around 1602, and other parts in the late 19th century. One of the garden footpaths dates to 1338, around the time of the original establishment of the temple; another footpath dates to 1610, and leads to Hosokawa Yûsai's mausoleum.[1] Other prominent figures buried at Tenju-an include Murakami Sakuo and Horie Junkichi (founders of the Kyoto Shinbun), Meiji period scholar and statesman Yokoi Shônan, and Edo period poet Yamagawa Seigen.


  • Pamphlets available on-site.
  1. Another grave for Hosokawa Yûsai is located at Kôtô-in at Daitoku-ji, in northern Kyoto.