Kyoto, Japan



Daitoku-ji (大徳寺, the ‘temple of Great Virtue’) is a Buddhist temple, one of fourteen autonomous branches of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen. It is located in Kita-ku, Kyoto, Japan. The "mountain name" (sangō) by which it is known is Ryūhōzan (龍宝山). The Daitoku-ji temple complex today covers more than 23 hectares (57 acres).

Daitoku-ji originated as a small monastery founded in 1315 or 1319 by the monk Shuho Myocho (宗峰妙超, also pronounced Sōhō Myōchō; 1282–1337), who is known by the title Daitō Kokushi ("National Teacher of the Great Lamp") given by Emperor Go-Daigo. In 1325, the monastery was converted into a supplication hall for the imperial court at the request of the retired Emperor Hanazono. The dedication ceremony for the imperial supplication hall, with its newly added dharma hall and abbot's living quarters, was held in 1326, and this is generally recognized as the true founding of the temple.

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