Friday, October 6, 2023

Hata Shrine Nagahama


Hata Shrine in Nagahama, Kochi, is located right next door to Sekkeiji Temple, number 33 on the famed Shikoku Pilgrimage, and in fact is built on the site where the temple stood until it was destroyed in the anti-Buddhism campaigns of early Meiji.

Sekkeiji was the family temple of the Chosokabe Clan, and Motochika Chosokabe is buried there. He was the warlord who "unified" Shikoku under his control in the late 16th Century, and his name is familiar to most pilgrims because so many of the temples on the pilgrimage were burned down in his wars of conquest.

Hata Shrine was established in 1888 on the site of the destroyed temple to enshrine Motochika himself, and so in a sense is very much a political site, and as such seems sterile...... though maybe I am projecting. The name Hata was used as the Chosokabe claim descent from the famous Hata Clan of ancient Japan.

A small torii and path lead from the main shrine up on to the hilltop above where there is a small Nishinomiya Shrine dedicated to Ebisu. It is built on the site of what was Nagahama Castle, a very small castle that was the site of Motochika's first battle .

The previous post in this series documenting my walk along the Shikoku Pilgrimage was on the ferry that crosses Urado Bay on the route between Zenjibuji Temple, and Sekkeiji Temple.


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