Founded in 1202 by priest Yôsai, the Kennin-ji Temple is the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto. In addition to its superb wooden architecture and Zen garden, the temple holds some superb works of art that were created over the centuries by illustrious Japanese artists. The masterpiece, a painting representing Fujin & Rajin, the gods of rain and thunder, is exhibited at the entrance. It was donated by Tawaraya Sôtatsu and was painted on a gilded screen.
Painted on the temple's ceiling by artist Koizumi Junsahu, these two dragons commemorated the 800th anniversary of Kennin-ji.© Pascal Bagot
The temple grounds hold a beautiful Zen garden that is open to everyone.© Pascal Bagot
Dragons are often considered to be the protector gods of Zen temples.© Pascal Bagot
On specific occasions, artworks that are normally stowed away are revealed to the public.© Pascal Bagot
This painting represents Bodhidharma - Daruma in Japanese -, the founder of the Zen tradition.© Pascal Bagot