Yogen-in (養源院)

Yogen-in Temple is located near Sanjusangendo and Hojuji Temple. Yogen-in Temple has a blood ceiling and cedar door and sliding door paintings by Sotatsu Tawaraya that are a must-see. Unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside the temple.

The following is a summarized quote from the history of the temple. Temple’s official WEB site


Yododono, the wife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, built the temple on the 21st anniversary of the death of his father, Asai Nagamasa. The name of the temple, “Yogen-in”, is the very name of Nagamasa Asai’s commandment.

A fire destroyed the temple shortly thereafter, but Ogo rebuilt it in 1621 using the remains of Fushimi Castle. Ogo, the fair wife of the second shogun Hidetada Tokugawa, was a daughter of Nagamasa Asai and the sister of Yododono.

Since then, the temple has been the family temple of the Tokugawa family and has housed the mortuary tablets of successive shoguns. The present main building (Kyakuden) is from the reconstruction.

In February 2008, the main hall (Kyakuden), Gomado, Chumon gate, Belfry hall, etc. were designated as National Important Cultural Properties.


Blood ceiling of Yogen-in

The ceilings of the corridors of the main hall (Kyakuden) are all blood ceilings. During the Battle of Fushimi Castle (1600), a prelude to the Battle of Sekigahara, many Tokugawa soldiers committed suicide in the corridors of Fushimi Castle just before the final attack of the forces of the West. The corridor stained with the blood of the Tokugawa soldiers was used as the ceiling of the temple, which is known as the Blood Ceiling. It might have been a memorial to the soldiers who committed suicide in the Fushimi Castle. There are several temples in Kyoto with blood-stained ceilings.

Nearby spots from Yogen-in Temple

There are 1001 statues of the Kannon in Sanjusangendo. It creates an amazing sight. It’s a must see in Kyoto.

Chishakuin Temple, head temple of Chizan School, features a renowned pond garden and houses National Treasure screen paintings.

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