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2008/9/25


京都ゑびす神社 Kyouto-ebisu-jinja Kyoto Ebisu Shrine

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The Kyoto Ebisu Shrine is located in Yamato-ooji Douri, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto prefecture.
The shrine honors the gods Yaekotoshironushi-no-ookami, Ookuninushi-ookami and Sukunahikona-no-kami.
It was reportedly built at the current location in 1202 by Yousai, the founder of the Rinzai Zen School and it was intended as a guardian shrine to protect Kennin-ji, the oldest Zen temple.
The shrine is one of the Three Greatest Ebisu Shrines in Japan which are thought to bring prosperity in business. The shrine is commonly called “Ebe-ssan”.
Bamboo is a symbol of the Ebisu beliefs and visitors receive amulets and lucky charms with bamboo motifs.  The association with bamboo began at the Kyoto Ebisu Shrine and it spread to other Ebisu shrines.  Bamboo grows straight and upright. It also has an elastic trunk and it does not break easily.  Moreover, bamboo leaves do not change color or fall off the stem.  The leaves remain fresh and green all year round. These characteristics made bamboo the symbol of family prosperity and success in business.
The Ebisu Festival, held every January 8th through 12th, is a busy and lively event filled with visitors who celebrate until well after midnight.
The Kyoto Ebisu Shrine is, along with the principles of the Ebisu beliefs and the Seven Lucky Gods, well rooted in the hearts of and loved by the local people.
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2008/7/24


西宮神社 Nishinomiya-jinja Nishinomiya Shrine

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Nishinomiya Shrine stands in the middle of Nishinomiya City, Hyogo Prefecture, in the part of the city known to produce one of the highest-quality sake brands - Nadagogou. Nishinomiya Shrine is the head Ebisu shrine that presides over more than 3,500 Ebisu shrines.  It is also commonly known as “Nishinomiya no Ebe-ssan”.
It is not known when the shrine was first founded, however, it appeared in a document from 1172, suggesting it already existed at that time. It was during the Muromachi Period, when the Seven Lucky Gods became widely popular and songs and plays related to them were broadly shown nationally.  At  that  time, Ebisu, who was a deity of wealth and one of the Seven Lucky Gods, came to be known and worshiped all over the country.  The Ebisu dance performed in front of the Nishinomiya Shrine is said to be the foundation of the Oosaka Bunraku and Awaji Puppet Theaters.
The Toyotomi Family and the Tokugawa Family, the subsequent leaders of Japan, also embraced and protected the shrine and Ebisu worship and, as local commerce developed, Ebisu became deeply rooted and honored as the deity of prosperity in business.
The shrine was destroyed by fire during the Second World War and restored fully in 1961. The Ooneribei wall, built during the Muromachi Period and the Omote Daimon gate in the Momoyama architectural style are designated as National Important Cultural Assets.
For three days at the beginning of each year, from January 9th through 11th, a big festival called “Touka Ebisu” is held and the shrine becomes filled with more than 1 million visitors.        
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2007/10/31


西琳寺 Sairin-ji Sairinji Temple

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Sairinji Temple is a Shingon sect temple located in Furuichi, Habikino City, Osaka Pref. The principal image is the standing statue of Yakushi Nyorai. According to the temple record, it originates in Kogenji Temple established by the Kawachi no Fumi clan, the descendents of a Confucian scholar Wang In of Baekje.
The excavated tiles and other items indicate that the temple was established at some time during the Asuka period (the late 6th C. to the early 8th C.). The foundation stone of a pagoda placed in the garden of the temple is nearly 2 m tall and over 27 tons in weight. It is the largest foundation stone of a pagoda identified with the Asuka period. The formal seven buildings had been completed by 679 and it is confirmed that those buildings had existed until 743. Most of the buildings and the pagoda were destroyed by the battles in the Warring States period (1493-1573) and Haibutsu Kishaku (the anti-Buddhism movement) in the Meiji period (1868-1912).
As one of the Kawachi Asuka Shichifukujin (Seven Gods of Good Fortune) temples, Sairinji Temple worships the deity Ebisu, who wears the Kazaori Eboshi (a tall hat) and the Kariginu (hunting garment) with holding a fishing rod and a red sea bream. Sairinji is a temple with a long history since the ancient times.
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