A temple said to have been founded by the Nichiren monk Nichiko in 1562. The
grounds include a massive sago palm of more than 1,100 years in age, and
which is a nationally designated natural monument. The temple is also
famous for its sago palm dry landscape garden, the only one of its type in
Japan and that includes a Rokujizo lantern and a gourd-shaped water bowl
donated by Sen no Rikyu, and as the place where the Tosa samurai
committed seppuku during the Sakai Incident.
A temple said to have been founded by the Nichiren school monk Nichiko in 1562.
The grounds include a sago palm tree of more than 1,100 years in age, standing tall
as it looks out over Sakai. This nationally designated natural monument has a
powerful legend behind it. Nobunaga Oda, the warlord who achieved the
unification of Japan, had the tree moved to his lands at Azuchi Castle. However,
every night the tree cried that it wanted to “return to Sakai.” In a fit of rage
Nobunaga ordered that the tree be cut down. When it was cut, however, it bled
fresh blood from the cut and writhed like a giant snake, and finally becoming
afraid Nobunaga returned the tree to Myokoku-ji Temple. It currently has 120
trunks and branches of varying sizes, and is one of the most famous trees in
Sakai; a detailed count of branches and description of its leaves can even be
found in a text "Izumi Meisho-zue" from the Edo period. The temple is also the
site of the only sago palm dry landscape garden in Japan, which includes a
Rokujizo lantern and a gourd-shaped water bowl said to have been donated by
Sen no Rikyu.
During the Sakai Incident in 1868, an altercation between French soldiers and Tosa
samurai, the temple is also famous as the place where eleven Tosa samurai
committed seppuku suicide. There is a stone tablet outside the temple gate
dedicated to the samurai who died.
The temple has also entrusted certain items to the Sakai City Museum, including
the presumed founder of the Soshu blacksmiths Kunimitsu Shintogo’s short
sword “Kunimitsu,” and the side-sword “Shumei Nagayoshi” of Chogi, one of the
“ten disciples” of master blacksmith Masamune, which is an important cultural
[Scenic Spot] Myokoku-ji Temple garden has become a Sakai city
designated cultural asset!(April 2012)
This garden is a combination of the garden on the east side of the main building
with the stones placed around the nationally designated natural monument sago
palm. A famous place representative of Sakai since the Edo period, results of a
recently implemented survey revealed it to be a level pond circular dry landscape
garden centered around the placement of the sago palm, and restoration work was
performed to return it to its glory from the end of the Edo period.
A dry landscape garden centered around a sago palm is a rare treasure, the likes of
which cannot be seen anywhere else in Japan.
4-1-4 Zaimokuchohigashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai shi
Alight at "Myokokujimae Station" on the Hankai Line
Adults 400 yen, elementary / junior high school student 200
10:00 ~ 16:30 (15 people or more requires a reservation)
|Regular holidays etc.||
Year end-new year period
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