Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine (手向山八幡宮)

Tamukeyama Hachimangu Shrine is located in Nara City, Nara Prefecture. It is also known as Tamukeyama-jinja Shrine.

This shrine is located in the foot of Mount Tamuke in the eastern part of Nara City. Mount Tamuke is known for its beautiful autumn leaves, and Michizane SUGAWARA wrote a waka poem which appeared in Kokin Wakashu (A Collection of Ancient and Modern Japanese Poetry), which says "I feel very sorry that I could not even prepare nusa to offer to the gods for this trip. Instead, I will devote these beautiful colored autumnal leaves as offerings."

The shrine is located at the eastern end of the road which runs from east to west in front of the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple and there is a hokkedo hall (sangatsudo) immediately north.

In 749, during the erection of Todai-ji Temple and the statue of Birushana Buddha within Todai-ji Temple, there was a ceremonially transfer of the guardian god from Usa-jingu Shrine. It was the first branch shrine reached from Hachimangu. It was originally located in Nashiharanomiya to the south of Heijo-kyu Palace, and relocated later to the neighborhood of Kagami-ike Pond to the south of the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple. It burned down during a battle involving TAIRA no Shigehira in 1180 before being rebuilt in its present location by Tokiyori HOJO in 1250. The location of Nashiharanomiya is unknown, but some suggest the remains of Heijo-kyo Sakyo Sanjo Nibo Garden near Nara City Hall are actually of Nashiharanomiya.

Since its foundation, it has belonged to Todai-ji Temple as its chinju-sha shrine (a guardian shrine of a temple), but it attained independence from Todai-ji Temple at the time of the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism in the Meiji Period.

The wooden statue of Sogyo Hachimanshin (by Kaikei, a National Treasure) kept in the Kanjinsho Hachimanden at Todai-ji Temple was originally in Tamukeyama Hachimangu, and transferred to Todai-ji Temple during the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism in the Meiji Period.

Major rites and festivals
Otaue-matsuri, the rice planting ceremony (on Setsubun in February)
Tengaie, the ceremony greeting the gods from Usa-hachiman Shrine (October 5)

Take the Nara Kotsu city loop bus from JR Nara Station to "Daibutsuden Kasuga-taisha mae". From there it is fifteen minutes on foot.

From Kintetsu Nara Station it takes about thirty minutes on foot.

[Original Japanese]