|Cultural property name||Seiganji Five-Ringed Tower (Gorinto)|
|Commentary||Five-ringed towers (gorinto) have existed since the end of the Heian period and include tombstones. A known ancient five-ringed tower is one with an inscription reading “1169” at Chusonji Temple in Hiraizumi. |
In the city of Shibuya, many five-ringed towers can be found at a cemetery for feudal lords (daimyo) and prominent persons established during the Edo period. However, the five-ringed towers at Seiganji Temple, although their shapes do not reveal exactly when they were created, have definitely existed since feudal Japan (the Muromachi period). Although damaged by the wind and abrasion, Siddhaṃ characters are just barely legible on the water ring (sphere) of one of the five-ringed towers. Two of the five-ringed towers are made of andesite while the remaining two are made of sandstone.
The original location of Seiganji Temple was a place near present-day Tokyo Riding Club (4 Kamizonocho, Yoyogi), but because the army training ground was built, it was moved to the former site of Hokaiji Temple, which became an abandoned temple as a result of the haibutsu kishaku movement (a movement to abolish Buddhism). Whether these five-ringed towers were originally at Hokaiji Temple or whether they were brought from the original site of Seiganji Temple remains unknown.
Nevertheless, as five-ringed towers whose origins can be traced back to feudal Japan they are very rare five-ringed towers, and they are important to our city which does not have many historical materials from feudal Japan.