Thursday, 28 May 2009

Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine

Kitano-Tenmangu Shrine, Kyoto

This shrine is a popular destination for students, because enshrined there is the god of wisdom or study, Sugawara-no-Michizane(菅原道真) known as Tenjin-san(天神さん).

He was a prominent bureaucrat in the Heian period who advised the Emperor to terminate Imperial Japanese embassies to China which had been taking place for over 260 years since A.D.630. Later he was plotted against by an envious rival and exiled to Kyushu where he died in despair. There are many stories and legends about him and he is a popular figure in mystery stories of the city along with Onmyoji(陰陽師) Abe no Seimei(安倍晴明) and the Emperor Sutoku(崇徳天皇).

The other aspect of the shrine is a flea market held on the 25th of every month and the precinct is full of market traders selling kimono, antiques, crafts, plants and so on.

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