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東勝寺旧蹟 Tōshō-ji Temple Historic Site

Updated: Jan 22, 2020

Toshoji is a Buddhist temple founded in the first half of the 13th Century by Yasutoki Hojo, the third vice-shogun of the Kamakura shogunate. In 1333, when Yoshisada Nitta and his troops attacked Kamakura, Takatoki Hōjō, all members of his clan and his followers shut themselves up in this temple, set it on fire, and met their death.

The site is extremely important from an historical viewpoint as the remains of the main temple of the Hojo dynasty, and as the final resting place of the Kamakura Shogunate. 

The black stele, or Sekihi, in front of Takatoki's yagura reads:

In May 1333, when Nitta Yoshisada invaded Kamakura, Regent Hōjō Takatoki left his residence in Komachi and barricaded himself in Tōshō-ji, the family temple where all his ancestors were buried. After that, while watching from afar the lights and smoke of the fires consuming the shops and residences of the entire city of Kamakura that his family had ruled for 150 years, he and his whole family, composed of over 870 people, committed suicide. This tragic act that ended the Hojo's power forever took place here.

Erected in March of 1918 by the Kamakura Seinendan Young Adult Association.


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