Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Go west : Tenman-guu to console Michizane

Date Published: Last Update:2015/04/10 Others , , ,

“Kitano Tenman-guu” in Kyoto to console Michizane

In 942, Michizane’s spirit showed up before a girl from a poor family in Kyoto and ordered to build a shrine for him in “Ukon no baba” (“hippodrome controlled by the right guard office”), the place where he often visited during his life.
Of course she didn’t have got no rights nor power to fulfill his wish, so she built a small shrine beside her house to worship him.

In 947, a boy in a shrine in “Oumi”, the present Shiga prefecture area, received the same message from Michizane.
His father went to talk with a priest of a temple in “Ukon no baba”, and built a shrine in corporation with the girl and the top priest of the temple.
(There is a legend that a few thousands of pine trees appeared in one night to show where the shrine should be built.)

In 959, Fujiwara no Morosuke, who was “U-daizin” back then, donated a proper shrine there.
Morosuke was a son of Fujiwara no Tadahira, who was a brother of Tokihira but sympathetic to Michizane.

In 987, Emperor Ichijyou sent his man (men?) to the shrine to pray for peace of the nation.
It was then that the title of “Kitano Tenman-guu Tenjin” (“Tenjin” literally means “The god in heaven”) as god was officially recognised and it’s been used ever since.

Kitano Tenman-guu 2

- Ukiyo-e of "Kitano Tenman-guu" by Sadanobu Hasegawa (1870 - 1871) -
From GATAG

In 993, Michizane was conferred posthumous ranks as “Sa-daijin” and soon after that, as “Daijyou-daijin”.

In 1004, Emperor Ichijyou visited the shrine.

Tenman-guu

Dazaifu Tenman-guu

- Dazaifu Tenman-guu -
Photo from Photo AC

Michizane was the first person from the non-imperial families who was enshrined as god.
Every shrine which has the name of “Tenman-guu” worships Michizane as the main god.
It is said that there are around twelve thousands shrines where Michizane is worshipped mainly or subsidiary.

 

Kitano Tenman-guu 1

- Kitano Tenman-guu -
Photo from Flickr

The most famous “Tenman-guu” shrines in Japan are in Dazaifu (“Dazaifu Tenman-guu”), Osaka (“Osaka Tenman-guu”(Japanese page)) and Kyoto (“Kitano Tenman-guu”).
I’ve only been to one in Dazaifu.

 

Osaka Tenman-guu

- Osaka Tenman-guu -
Photo from Photo AC

As you can see, “Tenman-guu” shrines were primarily built to console the soul of Michizane.
Then maybe because of his high academic reputation, he became worshipped as god of study (presumably in the Edo era).

Tenjin

Pikachuu

- The modern thunder monster -
Nothing to do with "Tenjin".

“Tenjin” is a god connected to thunders, rain, water etc.
Feared as a raging god who harms people and never listen to the emperor.
(The imperial family was described as descendants of the highest god in Japanese myths, “Amaterasu”.)
In the same time, worshipped as the god of agriculture.

“Tenjin” is the Michizane’s title as a god as well, and probably now it’s more common word for Michizane than the original god.
When people say “Tenjin san (or sama)”, they usually refer to him or shrines dedicated to him as the main god.

In a Japanese nursery rhyme entitled “Tooryanse”, there is a word “Tenjin sama” in lyrics.
It is supposed to mean a shrine worshipping Michizane.

Taira no Masakado

Masakado is another famous “onryou” (vengeful spirit) in Japan.
(See my Masakado post.)
There seems to have been a rumour that Masakado was the reincarnation of Michizane.
Masakado’s birth year is not known, but some believe(d) that he was born in the same year when Michizane died.

 

Related posts:
#Dazaifu (1: General Info)
(2: Michizane – general)
(3: Michizane – legends)
(4: Michizane – vengeance)
(6: Dazaifu – to the main shrine)
(7: Dazaifu – the main shrine and around)
(8: Dazaifu – Kyushu National Museum)

#Hakata (1: General Info)
(2: Moomin Cafe)
(3: Juventus Lounge)
(4: Kushida Shrine and others)

The following two tabs change content below.

kara

A Japanese living in Okayama. A proud "Otaku"! Loves animals, snacks, manga, games (PC, iPad, Nintendo DS, PSP), foreign TV dramas, traveling and football (soccer).

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

Kyoto Gosho

Go west : Sugawara no Michizane strikes back

After Michizane’s death in 903, people, who were involved with the conspiracy to frame him, died in a mysterious death one after another. Also, there were natural disasters in Kyoto. Victims of vengeance by Sugawara no Michizane Year: Person 906: Fujiwara no Sadakuni (Age: 40) 908: Fujiwara no Sugane (Age: 53) He reported to the […]

Read Article

Go-chisou sama!

Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal

Go-chisou sama (deshita) This phrase is said after meal. It expresses appreciation to people who prepared or cooked the meal. “Chisou” literally means “running around”. The Kanji character for “chi” means “run fast” or “travel fast on horseback / by car”. The “sou” character means “run”. People used to run around (or ride around on […]

Read Article

blood type

You are What You Bleed! – The Japanese Blood Type Personality Classification

What’s your blood type? – For most people, the only reason that they ask this question to others is that when they’ll be needing blood (no, not that vampire-ish type of need) for blood transfusion when something bad happens, that person may be able to help if they are compatible. But in Japan and other […]

Read Article

Japanese Number List 2

Basic Japanese : Numbers – Minor one to ten in Japanese

One to ten in Japanese 2 In this post, I’m going to write minor version of one to ten in Japanese. I doubt if this is introduced in Japanese textbooks for foreign people. This is still used, but rather rare I guess. Also, it’s less favourable in the formal conversations or texts. Minor ways to […]

Read Article

Itadaki masu image

Basic Japanese : “Itadaki masu” – Phrase before meal

When I watch foreign TV dramas, I sometimes see Christian people praying before meal. It seems that the prayer is to appreciate God who have given them food. In Japan, maybe Christians do the same, but I guess most of people say certain phrases before and after dinner instead of a prayer. If you love […]

Read Article

Capsule Toy Vending Machines (2nd floor)

Visiting a Gacha-gacha (Capsule Toy) Specialty Store

In Japan, you can find capsule toy vending machines or gacha-gacha in Japanese (refers both to the toy and the vending machine) mostly everywhere. It’s usually located near the entrance at supermarkets, restaurants, department stores, and other places. Gacha-gacha (Capsule Toy) Specialty Store in Okayama City Recently, I have learned that there is a gacha-gacha specialty store called […]

Read Article

Iroha 3

Basic Japanese : “Iroha-uta”, line by line – Part 1 –

“Iroha-uta” as a poem I’m going to explain the meaning of the poem in two posts. As I wrote in the previous post, it is thought to be composed in the Heian era (794 – 1185). In the major theory, the poem is said to express a doctrine from the Nirvana Sutra. But the poem […]

Read Article

Dazaifu 06

Go west : Sugawara no Michizane – Legends

There are mysterious legends around Sugawara no Michizane. Most of them are episodes after he was framed by his political enemy. Michizane and the flying plum tree This legend is very well-known along with the following poem. The night before he left his home in Kyoto, the capital at that time, he composed a poem […]

Read Article

Akatsuki no Yona

Basic Japanese : Formal Japanese honorific titles

At first, I was going to write about how to say “you” in Japanese, but the most common “you” word is a person’s name usually with suffix like “san”, “kun”, or “chan”. (ex. Hanako-san) This way of calling is used as third person as well. In this post, I’m trying to explain the variants and […]

Read Article

"I" attack

Basic Japanese : How to say “I” in Japanese – Part 1 –

In Japanese, there are many ways to call yourself. Here, I’m trying to explain the differences of each word, but please note they are my own personal impressions and other Japanese may not feel the same way. The word “I” in Japanese Although we have many words for “I”, it is frequently omitted. If you […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑