The Family Temple of Mori Family “Tokoji”

The Family Temple of Mori Family

Gravesite Surrounded by 500 Stone Lanterns

Tokoji is the family temple built by Yoshinari Mori, the 4th Lord of Choshu clan. The 3rd to the 11th odd-number generation lords and their wives rest here.
Climbing up the approach lined with trees to the temple, we spotted the main building “Daiyu Honden”. It is a highly decorative Chinese style architecture and is designated as an Important Cultural Properties. Behind it is the Mori family gravesite where several dozens of tombstones are lined. The 500 stone lanterns donated by senior vassals give the site a solemn ambience.
The “Mantokai” festival takes place every year on August 15 during Obon, when the spirit of ancestors are believed to come back to their home on earth. All of the lanterns are lit representing a ceremonial bonfire. Unfortunately, our visit was not during this season, but we could easily imagine how mystic it would be.
Incidentally, gravesite of the first lord of Choshu clan Hidenari Mori and the even-number generation lords is at Daishoin Temple near Hagi station. It is also a place worth visiting.


1647 Tsubaki Higashi, Hagi, Yamaguchi