|Cultural property name||Seiganji Temple Main Hall|
|Commentary||Masatsugu Imamura of Ichibu, Iwaimachi (presently Minamiboso), Chiba Prefecture built the main hall of Seiganji Temple in 1899. This residence was called by its nickname Iwai Goten (Iwai Palace). In 1945, because of the air raid that occurred in May, Seiganji Temple lost its main hall. The temple then obtained Imamura’s residence in 1949 and relocated it to the city of Shibuya in 1951. |
The main hall has a tiled, single-layer gable (kirizuma) roof and is south-facing. The main section is the room with the Buddhist alter (butsuma) and the five other rooms located to the west, and the three rooms located to the east is the subsidiary section. At the boundaries of each room, there are large head jambs (kamoi) and either paper sliding doors (fusuma) or paper sliding lattice doors (shoji). A 1.82 m-wide hard-floored area (hiro-en) runs along the inner perimeter of the main hall and encircles it. On the southside, a 4.55 m-wide subsidiary section is attached to the center of the main section, and in front of it is the 7.28 m-wide front door. The marks left on the components of the original building tell that when Imamura’s residence was relocated and altered into a temple building, to make the room with the Buddhist altar statelier, the pillars were changed from cedar ones to thick zelkova ones.
Since its relocation to the city of Shibuya, to date the building has been repaired and expanded several times. In addition to the retiling of the roof that was performed around 1970, the following have taken place: the repair of the boundary area between the main section and the subsidiary section, the expansion of the front door for visitors in the subsidiary section, the expansion of the main hall itself to the north and east, the expansion of the Buddhist altar (butsudan) to the north, and the repair of the ceiling of the side chamber (wakijin).
The main hall of Seiganji Temple is an example of a residence that was turned into a temple building and an example that allows the present-day world to see in real life a luxurious building of the Meiji era. Thus, it is invaluable.