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Tentokuin Temple 天徳院

Soto Zen temple built in honor of a doll-loving princess

Tentokuin is a Soto Zen Buddhist temple in Kanazawa built in honor of Tamahime (1599–1622). Tamahime was the daughter of the shogun Tokugawa Hidetada (1579–1632) and the first wife of the lord Maeda Toshitsune (1594–1658), who ruled the Kaga domain (present-day Ishikawa and its surroundings).

The large sanmon gate, built in 1693, is the only structure that survived a devastating fire in 1768. The rest of the destroyed buildings were reconstructed in a mere 70 days after the blaze.

Tamahime loved dolls, and the temple displays some that belonged to her. There are multiple daily performances of her life story using traditional mechanized puppets called karakuri. Performances take place at 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. (no 4 p.m. show December–February).


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