Chogakuji Temple in the mountains of Nagano Prefecture is associated with the death of the legendary warlord Takeda Shingen (1521-1573).
Takeda Shingen's death is shrouded in mystery. It is thought he died of pneumonia while returning to his base in Kofu from an attack on Noda Castle, north east of present-day Toyohashi. In Akira Kurosawa's film, Kagemusha ("Shadow Warrior"), Takeda Shingen, however, is shot at night by a Tokugawa sniper at the castle and fatally wounded.
One version of the following events is that Takeda Shingen's body was cremated in the hills near Chogakuji Temple and his ashes are buried within the temple grounds. His followers tried to maintain Takeda was still alive to fool his enemies, hence the "Shadow Warrior" of Kurosawa's movie, a common thief with a remarkable resemblance to Takeda, who was forced into impersonating him.
A ten-story pagoda was erected in 1974 to mark the spot where Takeda's ashes are buried, paid for by subscriptions from residents of Takeda's home province of Yamanashi. A noticeboard references the popular 1988 NHK Taiga drama, Takeda Shingen and the history of the warrior's final days.
569 Komaba, Shimoina-gun
Nagano Prefecture 395-0303
Tel: 0265 43 2967
Admission: 200 yen adults
Chogakuji Temple is located in the village of Achi midway between Iida and Nakatsugawa just off the Chuo Expressway. Chogakuji Temple is very close to the Hirugami Onsen resort.
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