NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉


手向山八幡宮 Tamukeyama-hachiman-guu Tamukeyama Hachiman-guu Shrine

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Tamukeyama Hachiman-guu Shrine celebrates the Shinto deity Hachiman and is located in Zoushi Town, Nara. In 749 (the Nara period) Emperor Shoumu transferred part of the spirit of the Hachiman deity from Usa Hachiman-guu Shrine (the head Hachiman shrine in Kyuushuu) and founded Tamukeyama Shrine to act as a  guardian of Toudai-ji Temple. The Tamukeyama Shrine became the first branch of the Hachiman shrine. Later, in 1250, Houjyou Tokiyori relocated the shrine to its present site. The main building was burned down by fires during various wars and was rebuilt in 1691. Its treasure storehouse built in the Azekura-zukuri construction style also contains elements of Tempyou architectural style from Toudai-ji Temple, and is designated as an Important Cultural Asset by the Japanese government. The shrine contains many other assets, including Karakura (National Treasure) and Bugaku-men (Important Cultural Asset).  The shrine also hosts various annual Shinto religious rituals such as Tegaie on January 5th and the Otaue Festival in February.  Tamukeyama Shrine has been surrounded by beautiful red and yellow autumn leaves since ancient times and Sugawara Michizane, a scholar and a poet who is enshrined as a deity of scholarship, composed a poem about the shrine which appeared in One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets.

At the present time,
Since I could bring no offering,
See Mount Tamuke!

Here are brocades of red leaves,
As a tribute to the gods.

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434 Zoushi-cho, Nara, Nara Prefecture, 630-8211
Tamukeyama Hachiman-guu Shrine

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