Thursday, June 23, 2022

Hatsumode at Kurumesosha Hiyoshi Shrine

Japan Guide

January 2nd, 2014, I arrived back in Kurume to continue with my pilgrimage around Kyushu after having took a break to go home and visit my wife for a few days. On my way to the hotel I stoed in at a small, urban shrine, all decked out for the new year.

Kurume Sosha Hiyoshi Shrine is a branch of the Sanno shrine at the base of Mount Hie. It was originaly located in the castle but was relocated to this spot when the castle was rebuilt.

Hatsumode is the modern tradition of visiting a shrine or temple in the first days of the new year to pray for good fortune for the coming year, and I would guess that most Japanese take part nowadays with the most popular shirn receiving millions of visitors.

In the Edo period most peole did not do this. Some eole in the capital, Edo, started viiting shrines to the Seven Lucky Gods, and it is probably from this that Hatsumode grew with thencreation of a "national" religion and culture in the Meiji period.

Kurumesosha Hiyoshi Shrine has multiple sub-shrines in the grounds, and not surprisingly an Ebisu Shrine was verry popular. The cult of Ebisu is strong in the area.

What was surprising was a buddhist shrine in the grounds, to what appears to be Fudo Myo, and that would have been removed during the Meiji period. There was also an Inari shrine, another very popuar cult.

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