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Golden Temple, Kyoto, 1950s
- Kinkaku-ji Temple
Kinkakuji was originally built in 1397 as a villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu (1358-1408), third Ashikaga Shogun. It was composed of several buildings, including a replica of the imperial palace's Shishin-den Hall.
11 years after Yoshimitsu's death, the villa was converted into a Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect, with Muso Kokushi appointed as abbot, following Yoshimitsu's will.
On 2nd July 1950, a 21 year-old monk, and student at Otani University, set fire to the Kinkaku-ji. The temple was burned to the ground, and the young man arrested. He confessed that he wanted to die in the flames. The story was immortalised by writer Mishima Yukio in his novel The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.
The temple was entirely reconstructed in its original form in 1955, extending the gold-foil covering to the lower floors as well.
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