It was raining, so the Shinto priestess at Kitano Tenmangu was also walking with a white umbrellas

Shinto priestess with an umbrella walking through Kitano Tenmangu Shrine

Shot at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto

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Kitano Tenmangu Shrine is famous as a god of learning, and its divine virtues are not limited to academic success. I didn't know that. Sugawara Michizane, who is enshrined at this shrine, was one of the elite of the Heian period (794-1185) who rose to the position of Minister of the Right. It is said that Michizane not only had a brilliant mind, but also possessed several other divine virtues. According to the official website, there are seven main divine virtues: the god of agriculture, the god of honesty and sincerity, the god of clearing false accusations, the god of learning, waka poetry, renga poetry, the deity of Toto (Traveling to Tang Dynasty), the god of performing arts, and the god of warding off evil.

Looking at the divine virtues, while the god of agriculture and the god who clears false accusations are vaguely imaginable, it is difficult to imagine what kind of benefit the deity of Toto provides. As a result of the legend that he traveled to Tang Dynasty to do Zen meditation, Sugawara Michizane came to be worshipped among Zen monks. It is said that his divine virtue is the reason why he is called the Deity of Toto. In short, it means he is a god of literature, but I don't know how that differs from a god of learning, waka, and renga. The point may be that he went to Tang Dynasty, the advanced country at that time. Nowadays, you can get an MBA also in Japan, but you might feel that an MBA from the Ivy League in the US is more prestigious.

As I wandered around the shrine grounds, I saw a Shinto priestess holding a large white umbrella as she walked by, presumably to attend a wedding ceremony held in this shrine. Although the shrine does not list the divine virtues of love fulfillment and matchmaking, weddings are held here at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, just like at any other shrine. Tenmangu shrine is a department store of various divine virtues.

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Shooting Date

Feb 2020

Posted On

May 4, 2021

Modified On

November 10, 2021


Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto


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