Film info

Creator / Collector

The ultimate beauty can also lead to crime, writes Yukio Mishima in his novel "The Temple of the Golden Pavilion" which was published in 1956 and is based on the burning of the Reliquary (or golden pavilion) by a young novice monk in 1950.

The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), or Temple of the Deer (Rokuon-ji), is located in Tokyo, Japan and is surrounded by the Mirror Lake (youko-ch). It was built in 1937 and was originally used as a mansion for the withdrawal of Ashogaga Yoshimitsuuma. Later his son converted the building into a Zen temple of the Rinzai School.

The pavilion is housing the sacred relics of the Buddha and on its roof is looming over a Chinese phoenix (fenghuang). The last two floors are covered with pure gold leaf. The temple was burned several times and rebuilt, the last time it was burned by a Korean monk in 1950. Its reconstruction work was completed in 1956.

In the film we see footage of the temple and the surrounding vegetation, the reflections through the mirror lake, as well as the rocks that are inside the lake which are representing the Buddhist story of creation.


Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

And here is the Kinkakuji, or Gold Pavilion, built by the third Shogun. The original building was actually burnt down and this is a replica.
Bonar, Andrew Graham