Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Mizuta Tenmangu

 


A few miles north of the Geibunkan is the small town of Mizuta and the main shrines is a Tenmangu with this unusual Torii.


It was founded in 1226 as a branch of Dazaifu Tenmangu, the burial place of Sugawara Michizane north of here. Dazaifu was the "capital" of Kyushu. Suguwara Michizane was a high-ranking courtier in Kyoto who was "exiled" to Dazaifu by his rivals at court.


He died shortly afterwards and his enemies began to die off and so it was believed that Michizane was operating as an "angry ghost", a very important component of Japanese beliefs. To appease his spirit he was posthumously promoted and also enshrined as Tenjin in Kitano Tenmangu shrine in Kyoto.


Tenjin is now considered a kind of patron saint of education and students will pray at Tenmangu shrines for success with exams and such.


The current main hall of the shrine was a reconstruction built in the early 17th century. It is said that Mizuta Tenmangu is the second-largest Tenmangu shrine in Kyushu after Dazaifu tenmangu.



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