NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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田尻 大崎八幡神社 Tajiri Oosaki-hachiman-jinja Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Tajiri

Jp En

Osaki Hachiman Shrine in Tajiri in Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, is the origin of Hachiman shrines in Hachiman in Sendai City and Furukawa Eai and Iwadeyama in Osaki City. It has an old shrine with a history of 1,000 years.

The hill continuing toward north from the shrine is thought to be the ruins of Nitta no Saku (the fortification) constructed by the central government from the Nara to Heian periods (in around 8th century). In 1057, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi and his son, Yoshiie, transferred the deity from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine in Kyoto to Tengugaoka in the northern part of present Tajiri Yawata in Osaki City and prayed for their victory before they fought with the forces of Abe Yoritoki and Abe no Sadato, which is known as “Zen Kunen no Eki” or Earlier Nine Years’ War (1051-1062). After they defeated the Abe clan, they transferred the deity from Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine and founded the three shrines in Tajiri, Izawa and Kurihara.

The shrine was faithfully revered by the Osaki clan in the later period and the shrine building was constructed in 1361, when it was renamed Osaki Hachiman Shrine. Later, at the beginning of the 17th century, Date Masamune relocated it to Iwadeyama and then to his castle town, Sendai, where he constructed a gorgeous shrine in the Gongen-zukuri style. The shrine was relocated to this place again in the later period by the Date clan.
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羽黒山参道 Haguro-yama-sandou Haguro Mountain Pathway

Jp En

This pathway is the approach to Dewasanzan Shrine, which is located in Haguro-cho, Tsuruoka, Yamagata Prefecture.

Up to 500 old Japanese cedar trees line the pathway.

The pathway has three inclined sub-pathways. The 'Genganotaki (Waterfall of Genga)' is found prior to the 'ichinosaka (first slope)' and after climbing a short while, the Haguro Pagoda, a national treasure thought to be reconstructed in 1375, can be found along one of the sidepaths. Next to this is the giant 'okinasugi (grandfather cedar)', which is said to be more than 1,000 years old. At the top of 'ninosaka (second slope)' is a teahouse where one may rest.

Dewasanzan Shrine is at the top of the pathway. The 28-meter-high main building is of Gongen architecture, and its thatched roof with a width of 2.1 meters is said to be the best in the Tohoku area.

The shrine also features a bronze statue of Basho, commemorating the famous reference to the shrine in the 'Oku-no-hosomichi'.
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鳥取 大神山神社 Tottori Oogamiyama-Jinja Okamiyama Shrine

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Okamiyama Shrine in Tottori Prefecture is composed of the back shrine in Daisen-cho and the main shrine in Odaka, Yonago City. The enshrined deities are Onamuchi-no-kami (the back shrine) and Onamuji-no-kami (the main shrine). It is the 9th shrine of Izumokoku Shinbutsu Reijo (Holy Places of Shinto and Buddhism in Izumo Province).

The shrine was originally built in the mountain of Daisen to enshrine the deity residing in this mountain. It is said that Emperor Go-Daigo, who had escaped from Oki Island, offered a prayer for defeating the Kamakura Shogunate at this shrine in 1333. As it was impossible to perform rituals during the winter, the shrine for winter rituals was built at the foot of the mountain, which became the present main shrine.

The shrine building is in Gongen-zukuri style with 50 m long front corridor. It is nationally designated as an Important Cultural Property. The shrine is believed to have the divine power to bring safety and eliminate evils. In June, the mountain opening festival is held at this shrine, where 2,000 people with torches in their hands parade down the mountain.
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榎原神社 Yowara-Jinja Yowara Shrine

Jp En

Yowara Shrine is located in Nango-cho, Minami-Naka-gun, Miyazaki Pref. The enshrined deity is Amaterasu Omikami (the sun goddess). With the apportioned spirit of the deity of Udo Jingu Shrine, it was established in 1658 by Ito Sukehisa, the lord of the Obi domain. The shrine was called Yowara-yama Daigongen and revered by the generations of the domain lord. Having been donated a huge territory, the shrine was flourished to be ranked with Udo Jingu Shrine in the eastern part of the domain.
Honden (the main hall) built in 1707 was originally in Hachiman-zukuri style but it was rebuilt into Gongen-zukuiri building in 1798. Honden is prefecturally designated as a tangible cultural property. Romon Gate and Shoro (the bell tower) are also designated as tangible cultural properties by the prefecture. The shrine used to be crowded with people from nearby villages, who offered prayers for good marriages and rich harvest. One of the prefecture’s famous folk song, Yowara Mairi, sings about this custom of visiting Yowara Shrine. Today the shrine is thronged with visitors on a New Year’s Day.
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伊賀八幡宮 Iga-hachiman-guu Iga Hachimangu Shrine

Jp En

Iga Hachimangu Shrine is located in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture. Matsudaira Chikatada, an ancestor of the Tokugawa clan, established it as a place to pray for the protection of his descendants.

Tokugawa Iemitsu enshrined his grandfather, Ieyasu, in this shrine, and later expanded it: the extension he created is the main building we see today. From these facts, we can see that the Tokugawa family had a special feeling toward the shrine.

In the past, when the shrine's tori gate was moved, it meant that war was going to break out soon. The main building is full of colors and is designated as a national treasure. The Zuishin gate and stone bridge are designated as important sites of cultural heritage. Iga Hachimangu Shrine is said to help grant luck to families and for work, as well as to expel evil spirits.
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湯島天神 Yushima-tenjin Yushima Tenjin Shrine

Jp En

Yushima Tenjin is a shrine for Sugawara no Michizane, the god of learning. The shrine’s history dates back a long time to when  it was built in 458 A.D. In 1995, new shrine pavilions were built in a “Gongen” style entirely  in timber. The wood used was Japanese cypress that had aged about 250 years. In the grounds of the shrine  can be found a ‘tori’ entrance gate and an odd-shaped boulder called Kienhyoujinseki. The shrine is also famous because it houses a set of the novelist Izumi Kyoka’s work “Onna Keizu”. “Onna Keizu” is famous for the speech “Wakarero Kireroha”. There is a commemorative plaque tothe Shinpa genre of theater with Kyoka’s writing brushon a stand. On the site, there are about 300 Japanese plum trees, which bloom all at once in Spring. During the high school and university  entrance exam season, students and examinees come here to pray for their success in the examinations.
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