Japan Travel Guide - Let's go to Japan!
HOME > Tokyo Metropolis > Sengakuji temple

Sengakuji temple

Sengakuji temple Sengakuji is a Buddhist temple located about 1 km north of JR Shinagawa station.
It is a Soto Zen Buddhist temple.

It was built around the south of current Kokyo in 1612.
But it was destroyed by fire in 1641, so the new temple was rebuilt here.

This temple is famous for the graves of Naganori Asano (1667-1701, a feudal lord of Ako Domain) and 47 Ako samurais. (Ako is in Hyogo Prefecture.)

Lord Asano was an attendant for officials of Emperor in Edo government. And his boss was Yoshihisa Kira. It is said that Asano had have a grudge against Kira.
On an important day in 1701 when Imperial passengers came Tokyo Castle, Asano suddenly slashed Kira from behind with his sword in the corridor in the Castle. But Kira got out of trouble.

This trouble at the important day made the Shogun furious, so he ordered to commit suicide through disembowelment (hara-kiri). And that had been performed soon.
But Kira earned no punishment, although he was at the center of a scandal.

Some samurais in Ako were angry about this unfair decision, so they developed a deep hatred toward Kira.
Before long the argument that Kira should be killed had come out among them.
Then the group for the operation was formed underground and 47 samurais from Ako had congregated.

On a snowy day next year, the operation was performed at the Kira's Residence, and at last they realized their desire.
After the operation, they marched to Sengakuji temple where Asano was buried in the grave, and they reported the success of revenge to Asano in heaven in front of his grave.

Later, all of 47 samurais were ordered to commit suicide through disembowelment.
They had also buried in the graves in Sengakuji temple.

This story has been often featured in Kabuki, Bunraku, movie and TV drama with the name of "Chushingura".

How to get to here

By subway

  • Sengakuji station (Asakusa Line)

Main gate of Sengakuji temple
Main tample of Sengakuji
Entrance to graveyard in Sengakuji
Samurais' graves in Sengakuji

Copyright © travel-around-japan.com. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored Links

Popular spots in and near Tokyo Metropolis

Tsukiji Market
Tokyo Tower
Sumida River
Tokyo Sky Tree
Akasaka, Roppingi
Meiji Shrine

Tokyo Disneyland
Ghibli Museum
Sanrio Puroland