Aug. 31, 2020 UPDATE
Seimei-Jinja Shrine- 晴明神社 -
The Chinese website is available. Staffs in the shop speak some English. The site is not that large. So you enjoy the shrine even if you don’t have enough time!
Japanese, basic English
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Story & Recommendation
Seimei-Jinja is a shrine dedicated to the famous astrologist Abe no Seimei
Seimei-Jinja is said to have been built on the place where Abe no Seimei’s house used to be. The shrine was established in 1007, in memory of Abe no Seimei, who died in 1005. Abe no Seimei was an onmyoji, a type of Japanese astrologist who advised the rulers in spiritual matters according to the Japanese philosophy of onmyodo, which is based in the Chinese philosophy of the five elements and yin and yang. Seimei-Jinja is actually getting more popular lately, and you may wonder what the reason for this popularity is. It’s actually the double Olympic gold medalist Yuzuru Hanyu, who became Abe no Seimei in his Olympic free skate program, and who has even visited Seimei-Jinja, and left an ema, a votive wooden plaque, at the shrine.
Hon-den (main hall)
Abe no Seimei is enshrined here. You can see pentagrams, or as they’re called in Japanese, kobosei, all around you. These pentagrams are not only decorations, but they were used in onmyodo for many things, for example divination.
This bridge is actually made from the previous Ichijo-Modoribashi Bridge, which is located close to Seimei-Jinja. There are many legends about this bridge, and according to one of them, a demon caught a samurai’s helmet on this bridge. Luckily for the samurai, he managed to sever the demon’s hand and thus escape the peril. However, it’s said that the demon got his hand back in the end too. But be careful of miniature demons when close to this miniature bridge!
Good water for good luck
There is a well at the shrine which is said to have begun with the sheer willpower of Abe no Seimei. The tap of the well faces the lucky direction of the year, so by drinking from this well, you should get to be extra lucky.
The reason for this statue’s shape comes from Chinese mythology, in which peaches were thought of as a symbol of immortality. The same is true for Onmyodo, and today it’s said that if you touch this peach with one hand, and with the other touch a body part in which you have pain, the pain will disappear. So try touching the Yakuyoke-momo!
- Manner & Tips -
Please respect the solemn atmosphere of the shrine