Tentakusan Rinshoin, called “Karatachi Temple” was built in 1624 according to Kasuga no Tsubone’s wish who is known as a nanny of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Shogun of the Tokugawas. It is her family temple where her grave, designated as a historic landmark of Bunkyo-ku, is placed.
Kasuga no Tsubone is known for her devotion to Tokugawa Iemitsu. And also, she established Ladies’ chambers after he became Shogun.
The gravestone pierced by several holes was installed in Kasuga no Tsubone’s will to keep watching over the governance of country after her death. Most of people think of her as a man-like woman but she might be a spirited and intelligent woman who wished peace even after her death.
In the Meiji period, there were schools in the precincts and this place prospered as the center of education. There were Tetsugakukan, the predecessor of Toyo University and the Japan Women’s School, the predecessor of Sagami Women’s University. Natsume Soseki wrote in his novel “Nowaki” about the students of Japan Women’s School and how they walk around the precincts.
Please try their free-for-all practices, zazen and sutra hand-copying. “Morning Zazen” is held early in the morning every weekday (cleaning the temple from 7:00, Zazen from 7:30.) Various people participate in it, such as workers of nearby office and international people interested in meditation.
The practices of sutra hand-copying take place twice a day, 10:00 and 14:00, on weekday except Wednesday. Sutra hand-copying may give you mindfulness. It would be a precious time to face 272 letters of Heart Sutra calmly for an hour.It is good that you can participate in it without reservation.
Buddhist service “Kasugaki” was held on October 14th, 2016 for the first time in 100 years. In the precincts, they had many workshops and shops with the cooperation of neighbors. It became an enjoyable event for many people including tourists. It will be held on October 14th this year.
Rinshoin is an oasis in the city where you can see seasonal plants and relax by zazen or sutra hand-copying.
June 2019 Text: Ryoko Kuraishi Photo: Yasuo Yamaguchi
Hours: 6:00 – 17:00 Open everyday ※Sutra hand-copying practice is not available following days, December 29th to January 5th, February 25th to 27th, July 17th to 19th, October 13th to 15th, and August 20th to 30th during 2019’s summer holiday