Takeda Hachimangu Shrine

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Believed to have been built in 822, the Takeda Hachimangu Shrine sits on a tree-lined mountainside overlooking the city of Nirasaki. The enshrined deities include Taketake no Okami (also known as Takeda no Kimi before he passed away), the god of war, and Emperor Ojin (also known as Hachiman), the protector deity of the warrior class and the nation of Japan. The sanctuary also served as the guardian shrine of the Takeda clan, which ruled Kai Province (present-day Yamanashi) from the 1100s until 1582.

The connection dates back to Takeda Nobuyoshi, the founder of the clan, who had his coming-of-age ceremony at the shrine and changed his family name from Minamoto to Takeda. Takeda Shingen (1521-1573), one of the most prominent feudal lords of the province, and his father, Takeda Nobutora, rebuilt the main shrine (honden). The building has been designated an Important Cultural Property.

The long, straight road (sando) up to the shrine, part of a prefectural road, features a large wooden torii gate about 300 meters from the main shrine grounds. On entering the grounds, visitors walk between towering old cedar trees. A stone torii gate stands in front of a large wooden gate that frames the stone staircase leading up to the shrine’s main buildings. The shrine is completely enveloped by the surrounding forest, giving the grounds a tranquil atmosphere. The secluded shrine is an ideal place to explore gradually, appreciating the quiet of the forest.

There is a wooden stage for performances of kagura, a Shinto ceremonial dance with a history dating back over 1,000 years. In mid-October every year, the shrine holds a festival where visitors can see kagura on the stage. Behind the stage is another staircase leading to the worship hall (haiden). This building has a view of the main shrine, which is not open to the public.

Along a small pathway to the left of the worship hall is the Tametomo Shrine, a sub-shrine dedicated to the samurai Minamoto no Tametomo (1139-1170). He was known for his skill as an archer, and a large wooden statue of Tametomo stands inside the small shrine. Until the mid-1800s, this small shrine was crowded with people praying for cures for their diseases, as they believed they could get rid of evil spirits with the help of the brave Tametomo.


Venue Address

407-0042 1185 Kamiyamamachi Kitamiyaji, Nirasaki-shi

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