Kuroda Kanbei, who is well known as a genius of military affairs, was assigned in 1587 from Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture to Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, as the lord of of Nakatsu castle. He was accompanied by many retainers, traders and manufacturers, religious leaders, etc. He built Gogan-ji Buddhist temple near Nakatsu castle for one of the high priests who accompanied him all the way from Himeji. This temple features red walls as shown in the picture. Almost all Buddhist temples' walls are white in Japan though, why these walls are red?
Right after Kuroda Kanbei entered Nakatsu, he faced the battles against the Utsunomiya clan, who formerly dominated this domain. The Utsunomiya clan persistently resisted the new comer. This temple was the place of the final battle , thus all the surviving samurais on the Utsunomiya side were killed here. The white plastered walls of the temple were stained with blood. No matter how many times they plastered over the walls again and again, the walls were saturated with blood, so they gave up. They set their heart on painting the walls red instead. Many scars made by katana swords actually were still found on the wooden pillars and other interior parts of the temple.
Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,