Monday, July 4, 2011

Genbu Shrine

Genbu Shrine is located north of the Imperial palace in Kyoto and was one of the 4 shrines for protection of the palace. It was built in the ninth century and originally enshrined a favorite sword of Prince Koretaka, a son of Emperor Montoku.

The name Genbu refers to the guardian animal of this direction, commonly represented as a turtle entwined by a snake.

The shrine is host on the second sunday of April to the Yasuraibana Matsuri based on hanashizume festivals which were held to ward of plagues.

There are two secondary shrines in the grounds, one to Inari and one to Miwa Myojin which is another name for the Miwa deity Okuninushi.


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