Ubusunagami (Guardian Deity of ones Birthplace) (産土神)

Ubusunagami is the deity that controls or protects one's birthplace. It is simply called "Ubusuna." The faith is closely related with local patriotism of Japanese. It seems that Ubusunagami originally had a character different from the ujigami (a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion) or the village shrine god, but it has often been similarly recognized since early-modern times.

The relationship between the ujigami and ujiko (shrine parishioner) is based on a kin group, whereas the relationship with the Ubusunagami is based on the sense of faith in a territorial connection group. Therefore a stronger faith in Ubusunagami can be seen in cities. In Kyoto, for example, as ties amongst a kin group were loosening and replaced by a sense of growing territorial connection, the idea of an Ubuko Area as the basis of Ubusunagami spread centering on Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine, Kamigoryo-jinja Shrine, Kamo-jinja Shrine, Kitano-tenmangu Shrine. The word "Ubusuna-mode" (visiting one's own birth god) became widely used and the custom of Ubusuna-mode became popular on such occasions as the coming-of-age ceremony and Shichi-go-san (a day of prayer for the healthy growth of young children).

Ubusunagami has a relationship with Ubugami, the god for a smooth delivery. The trend all over Japan today is that the old faith in ujigami has decreased, being absorbed in the newly developed Ubusunagami. Hie-jinja Shrine was regarded as a shine secreted to the Ubusunagami of the Tokugawa clan and its rites and festivals were on a grander scale than ever in Edo.

[Original Japanese]