Home > Japanese Culture > Two shrines in Osaka have their stories.

Two shrines in Osaka have their stories.

Last week, I had a happy time talking with Mugami. Thank you so much, Mugami, and I’m looking forward to talking with you again next Thursday.

While talking, I promised one thing with him. It’s to write an article about joumon era. I was going to the Nagoya museum today in order to learn joumon era. In the museum, they exhibit kaizuka, in which people in joumon era threw away a lot of thing, such as bones of animals or fish, shells, broken plates made from earth. Unfortunately, one of my client had trouble and it made me run back and forth today. Sorry, Mugami, I’ll get next chance to learn joumon era and try to write an article.

Instead of joumon era, I’ll put other topic on Japan up in this blog. I’ve already written that I went to the concert of Eric Martin the other day. Before the concert, I dropped by some shrines in Osaka. Osaka gokoku jinja and Osaka tenmanguu.

Maybe it’s quite difficult to introduce gokoku jinja to you in detail because gokoku jinja is deeply related to World War 2. I was born in 1974, so I have no experience in wars. However, there are still many people sufffering from side effects about the war. I don’t know if my descriptions will get wrong, and someone might feel bad. I’d like you to let me know when I was wrong.

gokoku jinja (by the way, I don’t know if I should choose ‘is’ or ‘are’ when I put Japanese words on my sentences as subjects) is built in order to enshrine people died for wars or for Japan. Basically, each gokoku jinja is established in each prefectures, however, some prefectures such as Hokkaido have 2 or 3 gokoku jinja. Long time ago, before we adopted the system ‘prefecture’, we had other way to divide our country. This old custom affected the number of gokoku jinja as I said. Incidentally, there is no gokoku jinja in Tokyo and instead of it, there is yasukuni jinja. You can tell the defference between gokoku jinja and yasukuni jinja. The former is the place where only Japanese are enshrined. The latter is the place where not only Japanese but also other people from other countries are enshrined. The gorvenment used to make people from other countries change their nationalities into Japan around when the Pacific War. In yasukuni, such people are enshrined.

Some people at that time(maybe even now) think that people died in wars for Japan or died for Japan will become eirei, as the word treating died people who did great things while they were alive, especially did great things for our country. People enshrined in gokoku jinja and yasukuni jinja are treated as eirei.

After Osaka gokoku jinja, I went to Osaka tenmanguu. You can see many tenmanguu at many places in Japan. Michizane Sugawara, the person who lived in heian era, is enshrined in each tenmanguu. It is said that Michizane Sugawara was so smart. I guess I should choose ‘genius’ rather than the word ‘smart.’ Every year, people, especially people who want to pass the entrance examinations, visit tenmanguu in order to share his intelligence. I’ve ever written the article when I visited kitano tenmanguu in Kyoto. Every time I visit there, I write my wish about examinations which I’m going to take on ema which is wooden board.

There is one legend about Michizane Sugawara. He was so smart(genius?) that he was promoted so fast in the gorvenment, what we call, as one of bureaucrats at that time. The power struggle ofcourse happened at that time. He was also involved with it because of his intelligent. The higher his postion in the government got, the bigger other people’s envy grew. At last he got suspected that he robbed many authorities from the emperor, and he got sentenced. After he died, a few emperors died continuously and one building of the government in Kyoto was hit by a stroke of lightning. By this lightning, some bureaucrats who seemed to be related to the conspiracy about Michizane were died. People at that time thought Michizane‘s anger let this happen. He treated as raijin(God of thunder) since. People built shrines in order to enshrine Michizane as tenjin sama and they call the shrines tenmanguu.

I got each signature and stamp at Osaka gokoku jinja and Osaka tenmanguu. I’ll show you photos of these shrines as well.

Osaka gokoku jinja
This is the gate called torii. All shrines have their own torii(I guess).

This is the main hall.

Osaka tenmanguu

This is Osaka gokoku jinja‘s signature. I’m proud of the writer in Aichi gokoku jinja. His signature is better than Osaka‘s. (The left side one is Osaka‘s and the right one is Aichi‘s)

This is Osaka tenmanguu‘s signature. I like it as well.

Categories: Japanese Culture Tags: ,
  1. December 17, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I’ll take this article piece by piece.

    Do people really forget about wars if they’re reminded constantly in ways such as remembrance days, documentaries, books, and other things? There’s a lot of history between countries, and some are the reasons why their people don’t get along. The past is always in the present.

    We’ve never been in a war; that is, our country against another. We really don’t have an army. During the World War, the males fought for Britain because we were a colony.

    What about Article 9 of your country’s constitution?

    • honeypotter
      December 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm

      Yeah, as you said, we, I mean the people have no experience wars, can know tragedies through interviews, books, TV programs. But I at least can’t feel wars themselves. I mean, feelings when I must kill someone else, feeling when I might be killed by someone else. One more thing, there are many differences on understanding of histries between Japan and other countries, especially countries in Asia. Many people always express their anger when policians visit yasukuni shrine in an official capacity because there are A-classed war criminals at WW2 enshrined in yasukuni.

      Article 9…Yeah, we have it in our constitution. (Ironically) thanks to this article, we have no chance to amend the constitution. Thanks to this article, we can’t call jieitai(Japan Self-Defense Forces) FORCE in Japanese. Even though jieitai have their sufficient armies, they are not any force.

  2. December 23, 2009 at 8:03 am

    Didn’t Koizumi try to amend that article?

    Is for singular/Are for plural.

    Was for singular/Were for plural.

    Yes, yasukuni shrine is very controversial. Something from the past that still causes a rift in the present.

    • honeypotter
      December 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm

      Unfotunately, no prime minister has never, even Koizumi amended that article since the present constitution was proclaimed in 1946.

      Oh, I should use ‘is(singular)’? Thanks, girlgeum!

      Yeah, we already got a wide rift but we have to try to make it narrow by diplomacy, named ‘Peace’.

  3. December 24, 2009 at 7:51 am

    I think there’s a lack of transparency which leads to a lack of trust between the nations. Maybe small steps will lead to something big.

    • honeypotter
      December 27, 2009 at 7:33 pm

      Yeah, I do think so. First, to try to know or feel what you think or feel. Second, to try to tell what I think or feel. Third, to keep exchanging our ideas. Keeping our hand in our hearts is the most important thing in diplomacy, I guess.

  1. January 7, 2010 at 3:45 am

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