Friday, July 5, 2024

Kameyama Hachimangu Shrine Sasebo


Located on top of a small hill in what is now central Sasebo, Kameyama Hachimangu is by far the biggest and most important shrine in Sasebo.

The shrine claims to have been founded directly from Usa Hachiman Shrine in the late 7th century.

At that time it was a Kyushu cult and had not yet been adopted nationally, nor was it yet associated with the legendary emperor Ojin.

The Hachiman cult was adopted by the samurai and so assumed major importance in later Japanese history, so when Sasebo became a major naval port in the late 19th and  twentieth centuies the shrine was patronized by the local naval officers.

Like much of central Sasebo, the shrine was completely destroyed by bombing in 1945.

As a Hachman shrine the main kami are Ojin, his mother Jingu, and his father Chuai. Unusually Nintoku, his son, is also listed here. There are also numerous secondary shrines within the grounds.

In the modern, postwar ranking of shrines Kameyama Hachiman is listed as Beppyo, which means more important than a regular shrine.

I was exploring Sasebo at the end of day 71 of my Kyushu pilgrimage walk as I had been based in Sasebo for several days. The previous post was on Mimasakachinju Shrine.


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