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Zuigan-ji (Zuigan Temple)
Zuigan-ji (Zuigan Temple) Review
Matsushima's main temple dates from 828, but the present structure was rebuilt to meet Date Masamune's tastes in 1609. Zuiganji is perhaps the most representative Zen temple in the Tohoku region. The main hall is a large wooden structure with elaborately carved wood panels and paintings (now faded) of some of Date's favorite totems: flowers, birds, and trees. Except during holidays, when the crowds are heavy, the relaxing temple grounds are quiet enough to appreciate the trees, including two plum trees brought back from present-day Korea in 1592 by Date after a failed military venture. The natural caves surrounding the temple are filled with Buddhist statues that novices carved from the rock face as part of their training.
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