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Spiritual Spot 5

  • 2023年2月14日
  • 2023年3月24日
  • Spiritual
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5. Yushima Shrine (or Yushima Tenjin)

This Shrine or Tenjin is dedicated to Sugawara no Michizane, one of the most powerful vengeful spirit, who was excellent scholar known as poet specifically in Kan-shi.

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Consequence of confliction with authorities in Imperial court, Michizane was exiled and confined in Dazaifu, Kyushu. He died in despair shortly, just 2 years after exile.

After the unfortunate end of Michizane, whose rival Fujiwara was granted authority but in spite of his success he suddenly died at age of 39. Additionally, disease and disaster frequently attacked, people feel these phenomena are owing to avenge of Michizane, the lightning had frequently attack the court with numerous casualties, then died Godaigo- Emperor who did the exile of Michizane, following crown princes also died.



Michizane has been revered as “Raijin”(Thunder God or Lightning God) derived from his vengeful spirit with thunders and named as “Tenjin-sama”.

Before his death, Michizane was great scholar in life having an exceptional talent in poetry both for Chinese Poetry  (Kan-shi) and Japanese Waka Poetry . As time goes on, he has been deified as Tutelary God of Academics and Scholarship rather than vengeful spirit.

Legend of Flying Plum

The plum tree was in the garden of Michizane’s residence in Kyoto. When it’s master Michizane exiles to Dazaifu in Kyushu, the Plum Tree flew to the confined place as known as Tobi-Ume (Frying Plum) At the departing for exile destination, Michinaze composed famous poet referring this Frying Plum is as below:  

Kochi fukaba  When the East wind blows
Nioi okose yo spread your scent
Ume no hana You plum blossom ! 
Aruji nashi toteDespite you loose your master
Haru na wasure so Never forget the spring
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