Oharano-jinja Shrine (大原野神社)

Oharano-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Oharano, Nishigyo Ward, Kyoto City. It is also known as Kyo Kasuga because the enshrined deities were separated and transferred from Kasuga-sha Shrine in Nara (present-day Kasuga Taisha Shrine). It was one of the Twenty-Two Shrines and classified as a Kanpei Chusha (middle-scale government shrines) but today it is a Beppyo Jinja (shrines on the special list).

The deities enshrined at Oharano-jinja Shrine are the same as those of Kasuga Taisha Shrine and consist of Takemikazuchi (Takemikazuchino Mikoto), Futsunushino Kami (Futsunushino Mikoto), Ameno Koyaneno Mikoto and Himenokami.

Oharano-jinja Shrine originated when the Emperor Kanmu relocated the capital to the city of Nagaoka-kyo in the year 784 and his wife, FUJIWARA no Otomuro, divided the ujigami (guardian deity) of the Fujiwara clan enshrined at Nara Kasuga-sha Shrine and enshrined it at Oharano where she frequently engaged in falconry. The Emperor Buntoku, who was the grandson of FUJIWARA no Fuyutsugu, constructed the shrine buildings in the year 850. As Oharano-jinja Shrine enshrined same Fujiwara clan ujigami as Nara Kasuga-sha Shrine, it received the same treatment and was included in the Twenty-Two Shrines. It was classified as a Kanpei Chusha in 1871.

Girls born into the Fujiwara clan would visit Oharano-jinja Shrine to pray that they would become empress or the emperor's second consort and, if their prayer came true, it became customary to organize a procession and make a pilgrimage back to the shrine. As the Emperor Seiwa's wife, FUJIWARA no Takako (of the Nijo family), made her pilgrimage to Oharano-jinja Shrine in the year 876, her former lover, Lieutenant General ARIWARA no Narihira, followed the imperial precession and composed the following poem: 'Ohara ya Oshio no yama mo kefu koso ha kamiyo no koto mo omoidezurame' (literally, "here in the Ohara field of Mt. Oshio, the guardian gods of the Fujiwara clan are reminded of ancient times as they look down upon you, their descendent, praying here today").

[Original Japanese]