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Go west : Dazaifu Tenman-guu – Main area

Date Published: Last Update:2015/04/10 Travel & View point , ,

Dazaifu Tenman-guu : Main area and around

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The main shrine area

– Rou-mon –

The main gate to the main shrine area.
“Rou-mon” means “two-story gate”.
Now the word is used for a gate which has no roof for the bottom story.
A gate with roofs for both stories are called “nijyuu-mon” (“Doubled gate”).

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This gate obviously has two roofs, so it should be called as “nijyuu-mon”, but it’s printed as “rou-mon” in a map of the shrine.
It’s described as “nijyuu-mon” in its description though.

The gate was reconstructed by Mitsunari Ishida during the Keichou period (1596 – 1615), then burnt down in the Meiji era.
The present gate was rebuilt in 1914.

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- "Rou-mon" -
From the main shrine.

– Cloister –

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In the main shrine area.
A tree is penetrating the roof.

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- Outside the cloister -

– Main shrine –

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- "Tobi-ume" (flying plum tree) and the main shrine -

As I wrote in my legends of Michizane post, a small shrine was built in 905 on the spot where Michizane was buried.
Then a proper one was built in 919 by Fujiwara no Nakahira, who was “Sa-daijin” (“Left minister”) at that time, under the order from the emperor.

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- The main shrine -
"Tobi-ume", flying plum tree (white blossoms), is on the right, "Kougou no ume", empress's plum tree (red blossoms), on the left.

 

After it was destroyed by fire several times, Takakage Kobayakawa, a samurai lord who was in charge of the area, rebuilt it in 1591.
It’s designated as a national important cultural property.

 

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- Inside the main shrine -

A man inside is a shinto priest.
A white plum tree pot is on the right side of the entrance of the main shrine, and a red plum tree pot (not showing up in this photo) is on the left.
A big wooden box in the bottom is “saisen-bako”, a donation box.

– Around the main shrine –

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- Backside of the main shrine -
Many "ema" hanging on the wall.

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- Area behind the main shrine -

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- A narrow path outside the cloister to the treasury -

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- Stable for "shin-me" (horse for god) -
Unfortunately, the horse was not in.

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- Camphor tree -
Said to be more than 1500 years old.
A national natural treasure.

 

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- Closer look of the hanged or tied items -
Left: "Yaku-bare" calabash
Right: "O-mikuji"

[“O-mikuji”]
“O-mikuji” literally means “god lot”.
It’s a strip of paper with fortunes and advices.

You can keep it with you or tie it at the specific locations in a shrine or a temple.
It depends on where you buy your “o-mikuji” on how to treat it.
Some shrines / temples haven’t got the locations to tie “o-mikuji”, so you have got to keep it.
Some don’t recommend to keep it.
The others say “As you like it”.
If you keep it, it seems the best way is to give it back to the place you buy it, probably after a year.

The rules I heard were:

  • If your fortune is good, then keep it in your wallet or somewhere to be treasured.
  • If it’s bad, tie it in the shrine / temple, with your non-dominant hand.

However, there seems to be no common rules.
Maybe better to ask a priest in the shrine / temple what to do if you feel worried.

Anyway, it’s a message from god, so the most important thing is to keep it in your mind.

[“Hyoutan” (calabash) in Dazaifu]
In Dazaifu Tenman-guu, it is believed that you will be safe from danger if you drink “sake” in calabash under a plum tree, which Michizane loved so much.

Now, when you ask for a prayer to protect yourself from any kind of troubles (of course you need money! 5000 yen as of March 2015), they will give you sacred items including “yaku-bare” (lit. “trouble-clearing”) calabash.

Bottle your written wish in it and put (or hang) it in a purified location in your house like “kami-dana” (lit. “shelf for god”, a household altar).
After troubles are gone, leave your calabash at the specified locations in the shrine with your appreciation to god.

 

Related posts:
#Dazaifu (1: General Info)
(2: Michizane – general)
(3: Michizane – legends)
(4: Michizane – vengeance)
(5: Michizane – Tenman-guu)
(6: Dazaifu – to the main shrine)
(8: Dazaifu – Kyushu National Museum)

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

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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).

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