Because it is Tenjin, lanterns with a crest of plum blossoms were hung on the steep stairs of Ushi Tenjin Kitano Shrine

Stairs with lanterns at Ushi Tenjin Kitano Shrine
Stairs with lanterns at Ushi Tenjin Kitano Shrine
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Lanterns with a plum blossom emblem were hung on the side of a steep staircase. Yes. This was the Ushi Tenjin Kitano Shrine, a shrine dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane. There are many shrines dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane in Tokyo. There is Yushima Tenmangu Shrine in Yushima and Hirakawa Tenmangu Shrine in Hirakawacho, just in the city center. A little further away from the city center, there is a historic shrine called Yaho Tenmangu in Kunitachi.

In such a situation, this shrine standing quietly in a residential area of Kasuga, Bunkyo-ku, is a little different. The main deity of the shrine is of course Sugawara no Michizane, but there is a shrine dedicated to the god of poverty in the narrow precincts of the shrine. It is said that a poor Hatamoto (feudal lord) enshrined the god of poverty as he had seen in a dream, and since he was able to get out of poverty, he moved the shrine here to the Ushi Tenjin Kitano Shrine and enshrined it there.

I feel that if I pay a visit to the god of poverty, the god of poverty will know my name and face and come to me, but if I worship him properly, he will not come to me. According to Toshiaki Nagasawa's book, "The Beliefs of the Common People in Edo Tokyo," the god was popular because he was ironically said to be "the most blessed god for the priests with more visitors than the head office."

The official website mentions that the shrine used to enshrine the god of poverty, but this is a story of the past, and the current small shrine enshrines a couple of gods: Amenouzume no Mikoto, the god of entertainment, and Sarutahiko no Mikoto, the god of the road, and Ukanomitama no Mikoto. I wonder where the god of poverty, whose existence has been casually erased, has gone.

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PHOTO DATA

No

12141

Shooting Date

Nov 2021

Posted On

January 10, 2022

Modified On

May 30, 2022

Place

Kasuga, Tokyo

Genre

Street Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF

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