Temples Of Japan

Tales Associated with Temples and Shrines of Japan

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Toribeyama Ancient Burial Ground on Higashiyama Mountains
(Kyoto City)

Many Temples and Shrines in Japan have true stories and tales associated with them. 

Some of the Kannon temples may have an extraordinary tale associated with how an incarnation of Kannon at that particular place interacted with pilgrims hundreds of years ago.  Or, how the Kannon helped a pilgrim from a certain bad situation.  Many temples also have founding tales popularly called "Engi" in Japanese language. 

Shrines, where a Kami (god or goddess) is worshipped, is usually associated with the nature, such as a river, tree, lake, wind or a mountain.  Popular tales include the shrine associated with "KamiKaze", where the wind god (Kami = god, Kaze = wind) helped the Japanese Navy during the sixth century from a certain defeat in the arms of invading Yuan Navy.

Around the world, similar tales can be found to be associated with temples and places of worship belonging to various religions.

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Enchanting Japan

Other fascinating aspect of these tales and temples is that they also describe inter related tales from Korean and Chinese Buddhist traditions and mythical tales from Hindu religion from India.  The related tales from the Hindu religion also incorporate the myriad of gods and goddesses of the Hindu religion, like Goddess Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) or Goddess Saraswati (Goddess of education and learning).

While some of the tales may have been created afterwards as a means to popularize pilgrimages and travel within Japan, I consider them still to be extremely fascinating even as fabrications and myths, as you can see also while going through these tales. 

Since, covering every tale, story and myth is going to be an huge task, I intend to limit this topic to the most popular tales and ubiquitous within Japanese folklore and everyday life.  My intention is to provide the non Japanese visitors of this site a glimpse into these extraordinary popular tales, while make native Japanese visitors to say "aha, I know about this story" or "I have been to this place".  In the end, I hope everybody enjoy reading these tales.

As with my other sections in this site, I hope to keep adding new tales when I come across them during my travels, so please keep coming back for new updates and new tales.

Hope you enjoy this section as you did the other sections.  Click the link below to flip through various tales I have listed in my web pages.

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