Meigetsu-in - History

History

Meigetsu-in was built by Uesugi Norikata of the powerful Uesugi clan, and the name itself derives from Norikata's own posthumous name (Meigetsu). According to 350-year-old records it was originally just the guest rooms of a much bigger temple called Zenkō-ji (禅興寺?) which was closed by the government during the Meiji period. Zenkō-ji was a temple of considerable prestige, being one of the Rinzai Zen temples classified as (Kantō Jissetsu (関東十刹?), which were second in importance only to Kamakura's so-called Five Mountains (Kamakura Gozan (鎌倉五山?). Zenkō-ji however didn't survive the anti-Buddhist clampdown (Haibutsu kishaku) that followed the Meiji Restoration. Meigetsu-in is the owner of a famous 13th century statue of Uesugi Shigefusa, founder of the Uesugi clan. He is dressed in the picturesque clothes of the dignitaries of the Kamakura period. The statue is a National Treasure.

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