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Sekizan Zen-in Temple (Photos taken Nov 2017)
Sekizan Zen-in was founded in 888 AD following the will of the high priest Jikaku Daishi Ennin as one of the affliated temples of Hieizan Enryakuji Temple, the Headquarters of Tendai sect Buddhism. Situated in a quiet neighborhood near Kyoto Shugakuin Imperial Villa, it is a famous site for the red tinged autumnal leaves.
Located at Kyoto’s northeast corner , where the front spirit gate called Omote Kimon used by demons is believed to stand, Sekizan Zen-in has been worshipped as the temple to protect the citzen from bad luck coming through the gate.
Revered since by the imperial family, Sekizan Zen-in was visited by the retired Emperor Gomizunoo (1596~1680), who is known as the building owner of the Shugakuin Imperial Villa; he, then, ordered repair of the temple buildings and presented a calligraphy of the phrase Sekizan Daimyojin (赤山大明神) done by himself. Holding the sacred pendant paper strips and a cluster of bells for charm performance, a carved monkey is placed on the top of the oratory roof thereby serving a talisman against demons; as such, Sekizan Zen-in has been widely venerated up to this day as the guardian temple against the evil spirits.
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