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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine





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Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Main Hall




Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is located in the historic Kamakura District of the Kanagawa Prefecture.  Kamakura is about one hour train ride from the central Tokyo and can be easily reached.  You can go to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine by walk from the JR Kamakura Station.  The walk to the main shrine hall is a beautiful one starting from the streets of the Kamakura (see the video below).


Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is dedicated to Emperor Ojin, Hime-gami, and the Empress Jingu.  Some of the Emperors and Empresses of Japan are also considered Shinto Gods (Kami) and hence it is customary to build a Shrine for them as a remembrance and reverence.




Originally this Shrine was built in 1063 near the seaside, Yuigahama (in the Sugami bay near Kamakura) by Yoriyoshi Minamoto.  On his return to Kamakura after having suppressed the rebellion of the Abe Family in Oshu, a northern part of Japan, he founded it in honor of the tutelary deity of the Genji Family.  Later the shrine was moved to the present site in 1191 by the first Shogun of Kamakura, Yoritomo Minamoto.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine Seal

Shogun Yoritomo remodelled the shrine into the present setup - the Jogu shrine on the top of the stone steps and the Wakamiya Shrine at the bottom.

By this time, Yoritomo had already brought the whole country under his reign, and Kamakura became a political and cultural center besides Kyoto.  Thus Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine attracted the honorable attention and then became a guardian shrine not only forthe Kanto area but for all Japan as well.  This is the reason why the Hachimangu shrine was raised as a tutelary shrine in every village throughout Japan.

The present building of the Jogu was reconstructed by Ienari Tokugawa, the 11th Shogun of Tokugawa, in 1828 in the style of the Edo architecture.  Wakamiya shrine was restored by Hidetada Tokugawa, the second Shogun of Tokugawa.  Now both of them are designated as important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Within the precincts of the shrine, there are many historical buildings and places.  Moreover a huge old gingo tree reminds all the visitors of tragic death of Sanetomo Minamoto, the third Shogun of Kamakura, assassinated in 1219 by his nephew, Kugyo, who had laid himself behind this tree.  This tree is about a thousand years old seems to be telling us a history of 800 years of the shrine.  (Source: Shrine Brochure)

The Shrines precincts are huge and the scenery around the Shrine varying with seasons. 

Here is a video of this Magnificent Shrine:





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