This shrine is all about samurai loyalty as exemplified by its Kami, Kusunoki Masashige. He was a loyal servant of Emperor Go-Daigo in the latter’s successful attempt to overthrow the Kamakura Shogunate. This happened in 1333 and a short period of imperial rule followed. In 1336, however, Ashikaga Takauji defeated the imperial forces, ushering in the Ashikaga Shogunate. In the same year Kusonogi sacrificed his life fighting in the Battle of Minatogawa on the instructions of Emperor Go Daigo. This battle was widely seen as a disastrous decision on the part of the emperor.
Following this, Kusonogi’s tomb at Minatogawa became a revered object of worship, and in the Edo Period Tokugawa Mitsukuni had a truly splendid built to honour Kusunogi. This tomb became something of a pilgrimage for samurai wishing to pay homage to Kusunogi’s loyalty to his emperor. Among the more famous of these visitors were Yoshida Shoin and Sakamoto Ryoma.
A shrine was finally built on the site in 1871 on the orders of Emperor Meiji. It was destroyed during the firebombing of 1945: on its reconstruction, famous painters from all over Japan donated works, 164 in total, which are on the ceiling of the main hall. Among the items on display in the shrine’s treasure hall are the remains of set of upper body armour worn by Kusonogi and a postscript to the Lotus Sutra written by him. Both items are Important Cultural Properties of Japan.
Kusunoki Masashige 楠木正成
From Merged Shrines
Kusunoki Masatsura 楠木正行
Kusumoto Inari Shrine 楠本稲荷神社
Kikusui Tenman Shrine 菊水天満神社
Divine Favours (御利益 Goriyaku)
Good marriage (夫婦良縁, Fufu Ryoen)
Prayer for good luck (開運招福, Kaiun Shofuku)
Protection against misfortune (厄除開運, Yakuyoke Kaiun)
Family well-being (家内安全, Kanai Anzen)
Traffic safety (交通安全, Kotsu Anzen)
Success in scholarship (Gakugyo Joju)
Business prosperity (商売繁盛, Shobai Kanjo)
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