Introduction

After Minamoto no Yoritomo lost the Battle of Ishibashiyama, local clan leader Sanehira Jiro Doi gained renown for protecting him from Kagechika Oba’s army. Joganji Temple is the family temple of the Doi clan. Within the precincts of the temple is the Shichikido, the hall which houses seven wooden statues of Yoritomo and each of his samurai warriors, who played an active role in the revival of the Minamoto family. The Doi family’s burial ground, designated as an important cultural property of Kanagawa, is also within the temple grounds, and a strong sense of the area’s long history can be felt.

A Chinese juniper tree which Sanehira himself planted, estimated to be 850 years old and nationally-designated as a natural monument, is the largest and oldest in Kanagawa Prefecture. The magnificent shape and appearance of its upstanding trunk is said to be an extremely rare sight in Japan.