Slow Walk Illustrated Guide
Around Zentsuji City
Gessho and Shinkai were born in 1813 and in 1821, respectively, to Takemori Sokichi and Ohisa in Yoshiwara, Sanuki Province (present-day Kagawa Prefecture). Both became priests at Gyukaku-ji Temple in their local area. They then underwent ascetic practices and became chief priests in Jojuin, Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Under the ideology of patriotism and reverence for the emperor in the late Tokugawa shogunate, Gessho became acquainted with Saigo Takamori, a leader of the Meiji Restoration, and worked hard. However, he fled to Satsuma (present-day Kagoshima) due to the crackdown of opposition by the shogunate officials conducted under the Ansei Purge, and attempted suicide by drowning in Kinko Bay with Saigo Takamori. Takamori, however, survived and later contributed greatly to the Meiji Restoration. Meanwhile, Shinkai was arrested due to his activities with his older brother Gessho and died in prison in Edo (present-day Tokyo). In 1891, Gessho and Shinkai were rewarded Shoshii (senior fourth rank) and Jushii (junior forth rank), respectively, as persons in merit for the Meiji Restoration. Later, local volunteers built the stone monument in 1935 to commemorate these holy priests, the pride of local area, who were born here.
Yoshiwara-cho, Zentsuji City, Kagawa Prefecture