Photos by Don Pylant
Daitoku-ji sub-temple, Koto-in, was established in 1601 by Tadaoki Hosokawa as a memorial to his father, Yúsai Hosokawa. The temple was built for Yúsai ‘s brother the monk, Gyokuho Joso1 . Tadaoki was a famous warrior under Toyotomi Hideyoshi, studied Zen under the Daitoku-ji abbot, Seigan, and was a distinguished disciple of tea master, Sen no Rikyu.
Koto-in is home to two famous tea houses, Shoko-ken (built by Hosokawa in 1628) and Horai. There is a famous wash basin made from a stone brought from the Imperial Palace in Korea. The main courtyard of the walled compound is an amazing place of peace and tranquility – feeling like a place detached from the world. It is interesting to watch the faces of visitors as they come to this view! The garden is also famous for its beautiful maples in fall color.
The shrine of Lord Hosokawa and his Christian wife, Lady Gracia is located here. There is a stone lantern marking the grave that was a favorite of Hosokawa in life, as it was a treasured gift from his teacher and tea master, Sen No Rikyu.
1 Yamamura, Kozo & Hall, John Whitney (1990). The Cambridge History of Japan, Volume 3 pg 616. Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 9780521223546