Sugawara Tenman-gu Shrine (Nara City) (菅原天満宮 (奈良市))

Sugawara Tenman-gu Shrine is a Shinto Shrine located in Nara City, Nara Prefecture. It is a Shikinai-sha (shrine listed in Engishiki laws) and was classified as a gosha (regional shrine) under the old shrine ranking system. It was referred to by the name Sugawara-jinja Shrine.

The enshrined deities are Amenohohi, NOMI no Sukune and SUGAWARA no Michizane, but the original enshrined deity was only Amenohohi no Mikoto. In those days, this area was called Sugawara village, and the Sugawara clan who turned out SUGAWARA no Michizane had its name from Sugawara village because their ancestors lived there. Amenohohi no Mikoto and NOMI no Sukune are soshin (ancestor honored as god) of the Sugawara clan and the Haji clan.

Though it is unclear why this shrine was built, it is assumed that the Haji clan, who had their stronghold around there, founded it to enshrine their soshin Amenohohi no Mikoto. According to the Engishiki Jinmyocho (a register of shrines in Japan), this shrine was registered as a small shrine. In 2002, the name was changed from Sugawara-jinja Shrine to Sugawara Tenman-gu Shrine.

There is a tradition that this area was the birthplace of SUGAWARA no Michizane. It is said that Michizane's mother left but came back to this area, the stronghold of the Sugawara clan, where she gave birth to him, and it is also said that she used the water of the pond located in the east of the shrine (at present this pond is called 'the birth pond') for ubuyu (a baby's first bath). However there is no source which supports the above tradition, and there is a theory that the old mansion of the Suga clan is his birthplace, but there was no relationship between the Suga clan and Michizane.

[Original Japanese]