Iwate

Chuson-ji, Hiraizumi

After living the majority of his life at war with central powers, Fujiwara no Kiyohira knew little more than war fatigue before establishing this complex of temples, halls, and pagodas to memorialize those lost to the atrocities of battle. In the same fashion of Kyoto’s Kinkakuji, Konjikido of Chusonji is a hall covered in gold, dating back to 1124. At its peak, this temple complex consisted of a large network of buildings, but Chusonji suffered great damages after the fall of the Fujiwara clan during the late 12th century. Though only two of the original buildings remain intact, the golden Konjikido is a mausoleum dedicated to leaders of the Fujiwara clan with mummified remains of the former Fujiwara clan leaders.
The legacy of the Fujiwara clan is distinguished for its contemporarily sophisticated design in spite of being established so far away from Kyoto. During the Edo Era, the temple complex was partially restored by the Date clan of Sendai. Though there was heavy damage to the complex, more than 3,000 National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties remain.

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