In 1160,the retired Emperor Goshirakawa (後白河天皇) sought to have Hie Sanno Shichisha (Hie Taisha) Shrine in Higashi Sakamoto on Mt. Hiei relocate to his imperial palace at Hojuji Temple. This shrine enshrines the emperor Goshirakawa and the deities of Sanno Shichichu, the seven guardian gods of the imperial palace. It attracts those seeking indulgences in the area of sake brewing, medicine and matchmaking. This temple was built by Emperor Goshirakawa in order to ward off bad luck. Imahie Jingū was moved to its current spot in 1897. Imahie Shrine was used as a place to secretly worship this late war lord during the Edo Period, when anything to do with the Toyotomi name was banned or burned. Toyotomi had particular popularity in Kyoto, where his followers were almost like the secret Christians who were persecuted for their faith. Konomoto-no-yashiro - also known as Houkoku Shrine - is a temple on the Imahie Jingu grounds, which was where the people worshiped Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉). One of the reasons why this temple was chosen as a worship place for Toyotomi is because the kanjis for Konomoto-no-yashiro can be read the same way as Toyotomi’s original name. Another reason is because Imahie Jingu used to stand where Toyokuni Shrine - where Toyotomi’s remains are - was. Also, it’s interesting to note that Toyotomi’s nickname used to be ‘monkey’, because of his appearance and stature. Maybe the monkey statues in the temple also have something to do with why this temple was chosen. Another interesting point of Imahie Jingu are the monkeys caught in cages of gold wire. Usually, instead of monkeys, temples would have dogs (Koma-inu) as the bodyguards of the temple. The reason why monkeys were used instead is because of the many interpretations of the word ‘monkey’ in Japanese - ‘saru’. ‘Saru’ can also mean ‘to leave’, as in the instance of, ‘Ma ga saru’, which means, ‘Bad luck leaving’. It also can mean, ‘to win’; ‘nani yori mo saru’, means, ‘To win against all odds’. The reasons why the monkeys are kept in cages, is 1. So that they aren’t stolen, and 2. So that the monkeys won’t take a stroll during the night.
Category:Travel and Places
Keywords:Emperor Goshirakawa, Imahie Jingū, Japan, Kyoto, Shinto, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 後白河天皇, 新日吉神宮, 秀吉豊臣