Yushima Seido 湯島聖堂

Tokyo's Amazing Black Temple

Located near Ochanomizu station, the astonishing Yushima Seido intrigues with its majestic and elegant black buildings. Erected in 1690, this Confucian temple which houses the largest sculpture of Confucius in the world is considered the birthplace of Japanese school education.

  • Confucius (551–479 BC), the greatest Chinese philosopher who gave rise to Confucianism or the "school of the scholars", a philosophical, moral, and political doctrine based on a system of personal and public morality (good conduct, wisdom, filial piety, etc.) allowing fulfillment and harmony with one's fellow beings.

  • Mencius (372-289 BC), was a Chinese Confucian philosopher, writer, and thinker who is said to have been a disciple of Zi Si, the grandson of Confucius. He is the most famous Confucian scholar after the great Confucius himself.

  • Yan Hui (513-482 BC), was a disciple of Confucius and revered as one of the Four Sages of Confucianism and one of the Twelve Philosophers.

  • Zengzi (505-435 BC), a student of Confucius, another of the four sages, began the line of traditional teachers of Confucius.

  • Zi si (481–402 BC), philosopher, author, and grandson of Confucius taught Confucianism to Mencius.

statue-confucius

Statue of Confucius from Yushima Seido

Abasaa

A temple dressed in black

 

Surrounded by its enclosure wall dating from the Edo period (1603-1868), a tsukiji bei wall was built using a traditional technique of piling up mud and tiles, the Yushima Seido disconcerts visitors accustomed to frequenting shrines and temples in vibrant or natural raw wood colors. This black color is not original. It would not have been adopted until 1799 when the temple was enlarged and rebuilt.

In all likelihood, the Yushima Seidô initially presented more conventional hues: vermilion red structures and verdigris roofs.

yushima-seido-estampe

Print made in 1872 illustrating the Yushima Seido

Wikimedia Commons


Address, timetable & access

  • Address

  • Phone

    +81 3-3251-4606
  • Timetable

    5 minutes from Ochanomizu subway station on the Chuo-Sobu and Marunouchi lines
  • Price

    Free
  • Access

    Open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm. The Taisei den is open to the public on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 10:00 am until closing.

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