NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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中将実方朝臣の墓 Chuujou-sanekata-ason-no-haka The Grave of Fujiwara no Sanekata Ason

Jp En

The grave of Fujiwara no Sanekata Ason is in Medeshima-Shiote, Natori, Miyagi Prefecture. Fujiwara no Sanekata is known as a young Heian period nobleman who was good-looking and gracious. Also, he is known as the model of the character Hikari Genji in the classic 'The Tale of Genji'. Moreover, he is counted among the Thirty-six Poet Immortals.

In 955, he was banished for striking a rival poet, Fujiwara no Yukinari, on the head in front of the emperor. He received a royal command to travel to see the old ruins in several areas. In 998, he is said to have fallen from his horse and died.

Later, the poet Matsuo Basho visited this site and sang a song here. Nearby is a monument commemorating Basho's visit. The small grave of Fujiwara no Sanekata stands alone within the tranquil forest.
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太宰府天満宮 Dazaifu-tenmanguu Daizaifu Tenmangu Shrine

Jp En

The renowned Daizaifu Tenmangu Shrine is located in Saifu, Daizaifu-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture, and is famous for enshrining the deity of Sugawara no Michizane (a scholar, poet and politician of the Heian period). The shrine is also known for possessing the national treasure, 'Kanen Kandai Sanju-ichi' ('The Thirty-first Writing of the Kanen').

Michizane was exiled to this land following false accusations by the Fujiwara family and died here in 903. However, the ox-cart carrying Michizane's body back to the city for a formal burial, for some unknown reason broke down on the way and couldn't be moved. Considering this bizarre happening as Michizane's last wish, his body was not sent to the city, and instead buried in a grave on this land.

After Michizane's death, Kyoto experienced many disastrous plagues and abnormal weather; people feared this was Michizane's curse. Daizaifu Tenmangu Shrine was built on Michizane's grave to alleviate and break the curse. Since then, Michizane has been recognized as an excellent and brilliant scholar in life, and then posthumously enshrined as the God of Scholarship and Knowledge.

Many people visit the shrine today, and still venerate Michizane as a god. Daizaifu Tenmangu Shrine, along with Kitano Tenmangu Shrine and the Hofu Tenmangu Shrine in Hofu, are considered the San-Tenjin (The Three Great Gods of the Heavens).
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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