Thursday, August 19, 2021

Miyama Tenmangu


Miyama is a small rural settlement in the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture that used to be called Chikugo. I passed through while walking north on the 50th day of my walk along the Kyushu Pilgrimage.

The local shrine, a Tenmangu, was shrouded in mist. The small Zuijinmon, guardian gate, housed a pair of brightly colored wooden komainu.

As well as a pair of Zuijin, the shinto guardians that Lafcadio Hearn suggested were a Shinto response to  Nio guardians.

Set among a grove of old trees, there are also a pair of stone Komainu. I can find no dates for the shrine, but was probably just a local ujigami shrine until Tenjin was later "installed". I know in my own area of Tenjin, and other national kami,  being installed in local shrines in the early twentieth century to save them from being closed.

Unusually the taiko drum was hung outside the building. Most small shrines will have a single taiko, often in very poor condition, still inside the main building.

I've saved what I think is the best photo for last. Within the shrine grounds there was a Buddhist statue still remaining.


  1. Oh wow, that last photo! You weren’t kidding, I would hang that in my house. Just gorgeous

  2. Jake, thanks for sharing your art, which is upto your usual high standard.