“Tofukuji [東福寺, trans. ‘east fortune temple’], one of the chief monasteries of the Zen sect, was founded by Shoichi Kokushi in the 13th century. It is noted for the maple trees lining both sides of a gully which is spanned by a bridge or gallery called Tsu-ten-kyo, that is ‘the bridge communicating with heaven.’ This gallery and a tower in the roof give to Tofukuji an original and striking appearance.
“Of the formerly very extensive buildings only a few now remain. The temple contains some good wooden images and a number of kakemonos of the .Five Hundred Rakan. by the famous artist Cho Densu, who spent several years here as an acolyte. But its greatest treasure is a huge kakemono by the same artist of ‘Shaka’s Entry into Nirvana’ (Nehanzo), 24 ft. by 48 ft. It is dated 1408, when the artist was 50 years old.”
– A Handbook for Travellers in Japan, by Basil Hall Chamberlain & W. B. Mason, 1899
Tofukuji Bridge, Kyoto, c. 1910.
1910s • Arts & Culture • Kyoto-Nara-Osaka-Kobe • Religious
Tagged with: Historic bridges, Kyoto, Tourism, Zen Buddhism
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