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Kinkaku-ji
Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺, きんかくじ, Kinkaku-ji, Golden Pavilion Temple) - The informal name of Rokuon-ji (鹿苑寺, Deer Garden Temple) in Kyoto, Japan. It was originally built in 1397 to serve as a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, as part of his estate then known as Kitayama. It was his son who converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai school. The temple was burned down several times during the Ōnin War.

The Golden Pavilion, or Kinkaku, is a three-story building on the grounds of the temple. The top two stories of the pavilion are covered with pure gold leaf. The pavilion functions as a shariden, housing relics of the Buddha. On the roof is a golden fenghuang or "Chinese phoenix".

The Golden Pavilion has a magnificent Japanese garden right outside of it. The pond in front of it is called Kyōko-chi (Mirror Pond). There are many islands and stones on the pond that represent the Buddhist creation story.

In 1950, the pavilion was burned down by monk; a fictionalized version of the events is at the center of Yukio Mishima's 1956 book The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The present structure dates from 1955. Recently, the coating of Japanese lacquer was found a little decayed and a new coating as well as gilding with gold-leaf, much thicker than the original coatings was completed in 1987. Additionally, the interior of the building, including the paintings were also restored. Finally, the roof was restored in 2003.

The land where the Golden Pavilion sits was used in the 1220s as a villa for Saionji Kintsune.

Information source: “Kinkaku-ji.” wikipedia.org. Article date: 24 Jan. 2008. Retrieved: Wikipedia. 2 Feb. 2008 <Kinkaku-ji>.

























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