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Keifuku-ji

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  • Established: 1369
  • Other Names: 瑞松山 (Zuishô-san)
  • Japanese: 景福寺 (Keifuku-ji)

Keifuku-ji is a Sôtô Zen Buddhist temple in Himeji City. Founded in 1369, it is the site of the graves of a number of Edo period members of the Sakai clan.

Though originally founded at Mutsuse (Settsu province), it was later relocated to Harima-chô in the Tenshô era (1573-1592). Another Keifuku-ji was then established in 1600 just below Himeji castle. In 1749, lord of Himeji Matsudaira Tomonori was moved to Maebashi han, and removed a local temple with him; Sakai Tadazumi then became lord of Himeji, and in 1754 relocated the Keifuku-ji to its current location, making it a bodaiji (family temple) of the Sakai clan.

The temple is home to a number of Kamakura period Buddhist sculptures and a copy of a 1685 Korean bell.

In 1868, forces from Okayama han encamped at the temple while besieging the castle, firing upon the castle until it eventually capitulated. A middle school was established on the grounds in 1878, and during World War I, several of the temple buildings were taken over by the Imperial Japanese Army for use as a POW camp.

Matsudaira Tomonori is buried in the hills behind the temple, as is Kameyama Unpei, the Himeji domain retainer who carried the message of surrender to the Okayama forces during their 1868 attack on the castle.

Partial List of Burials

References

  • Plaques on-site at Keifuku-ji.[1][2]
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