The Nyoirinji is a Buddhist temple on Mount Yoshino in central Nara prefecture of Japan. The temple was originally constructed in the early 900s, but became associated with the renegade emperor Go-Daigo during the Nanbokucho period of rival Northern and Southern imperial courts. Go-Daigo, the initiator of the Kemmu Restoration, which sought to restore direct imperial rule, had fled to remote Mount Yoshino after being driven from Kyoto by Ashikaga Takuji. Once there, he established the Southern Court and in the process declared the Nyoirinji as the official temple to pray for the safety of the Japanese nation.
But the temple is best known for a tanka poem inscribed on one of its wooden doors in 1348 by Kusunoki Masatsura, the son of Go-Daigo's great general Kusunoki Masashige. Masatsura visited the temple before leaving at the head of an army to battle the forces of the Northern Court. Suddenly struck by a premonition of his impending death, Masatsura took an arrow from his quiver and used the arrowhead to inscribe a tanka poem:
I suspect I shall not be able to return
So I inscribe my name here
Among those who have died by the bow
Indeed, Masatsura did die directly thereafter in the Battle of Shijonawate. Today the original poem can still viewed on the original door, which is now kept in the temple's treasure house. The treasure house also boasts a brightly colored cypress-wood statue of Buddhist deity Zao-Gongen, crafted in 1226 and designated as an Important Cultural Property by the Japanese Ministry of Cultural Affairs. Visitors to Nyoirinji can also view the nearby Motodorizuka, a mound in which are interred some hair of Masatsura and his retainers.
To get to the Nyorinji, take the Kintetsu Yoshino Line from Osaka or Kyoto all the way to the end of the line at Kintetsu Yoshino. Instead of taking the cable car up to the top of Mount Yoshino, instead follow the road off to the left, and trace the wooden signposts until you get to the Nyoirinji.