The Kinmokaku Gate of the Daitoku-ji temple from Kyoto is known in the history of Japan for the incident that brought the death of Sen no Rikyū, one of the most famous historical figures of the Japanese tea ceremony (chanoyu).
Sen no Rikyū was the tea master and close confidant of daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi, but in 1591 he ordered a wooden statue of himself, installing it inside this gate, on the higher floor. Since Hideyoshi was passing through the gate, he felt humiliated when he discovered the existence of the statue, thinking that he was forced to put himself below Rikyū…
Enraged, Hideyoshi ordered the master to perform the sepukku (harakiri) ritual suicide and the story says that Sen no Rikyū performed an exquisite tea ceremony for a very selected group of guests, committing sepukku afterwards…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: