A worshipper with a purple umbrella was trying to climb up the stairs at Yabo Tenmangu Shrine

Purple umbrella at Yabo Tenmangu Shrine
Shot at Yabo Tenmangu Shrine in Kunitachi, Tokyo ©Tetsu Ozawa
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The Yabo Tenmangu Shrine in Kunitachi is old; it was built in 903. If you're wondering what this means, you're in the right place. This is older than the construction of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, which is considered to be the headquarters of all Tenmangu Shrines in Japan, and which is worshipped as the mausoleum of Sugawara Michizane. It's a strange feeling, like the branch family has more history than the original family. In fact, the oldest Tenmangu shrine is not Dazaifu Tenmangu. It is Hofu Tenmangu Shrine in Hofu that claims to be the first Tenjin Shrine to be established. It's complicated.

The reason why Yabo Tenmangu Shrine is older than Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine is because Michitake, the third son of Michizane, who was relocated here at the same time as his father Michizane Sugawara was relocated to Dazaifu, built a mausoleum to enshrine his father as soon as Michizane Sugawara passed away in 903. Nowadays, I don't know whether this is a historical fact or a fiction. After all, it was over a thousand years ago. What I can say with certainty is that Yabo Tenmangu Shrine, together with Kameido Tenjin Shrine and Yushima Tenmangu Shrine, was one of the three major Tenjin shrines in Kanto and is still worshipped today.

As I wandered around the shrine grounds where divine chickens roam free, worshippers came by from time to time. The woman with the umbrella was one of them. The purple umbrella reminded me of the auspicious clouds that were said to have been seen in Hofu on the day of Michizane's death.

日本語
Nov 2021 IN THE CITY TOKYO

Where is Yabo Tenmangu Shrine?

PHOTO DATA

No

12092

Shooting Date

Jul 2021

Posted On

November 16, 2021

Place

Kunitachi, Tokyo

Genre

Street Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF

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