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Nara-ken, Nara-shi, Daianji-cho 128  奈良県奈良市大安寺町128

 Goryo Jinja

Nearest station: Kyobate  Line: JR Nishinihon/Sakurai 

Sacred Tokyo 40 Shinto Shrines

Enshrined Kami:  


Empress Kogo                  井上皇后

Prince Osabe                    他戸親王

Kotoshiru-nushi-Mikoto 事代主命


Prince Sawara          早良親王 

Fujiwara Hirotsugu  藤原広嗣 

Fujiwara Daifujin      藤原大夫人 

Prince Iyoshi              伊予親王

Tachibana Hayanari  橘逸勢 

Bunya Miyatamaro   文屋宮田麿 

In-ground Subordinate Shrines:

Shussei Inari Jinja     出世稲荷神社

Haraedo-sha             祓戸社

Wakanomiya Jinja    若宮社                  

Ebisu/Daikoku Ishi  えびす大黒石

Sui Hiruko-sha         水蛭子社

​Annual Festival:  October 13

This shrine was founded in 800 on the instructions of the then reigning  50th emperor, Kanmu, to enshrine Princess Inoue, the spouse of the 49th emperor, Konin. The daughter of the 45th emperor, Shomu, she is formally worshipped as Empress Kogo. She and Emperor Konin were married on the latter’s ascent to the throne in 770 and in the following year their son, Osabe, became crown prince. Soon after this however, in 772, it was alleged that she had put a curse on her spouse and she and her son were deposed and incarcerated in what is now Gojo-shi in Nara-ken. On April 27, 775 they were both put to death.

Emperor Konin’s eldest son, Prince Yamabe, was born before he became emperor and his mother was a 10th generation descendant of  Muryeong, the 25th monarch of the Korean kingdom of  Paekche. Yamabe  went on to become Emperor  Kanmu, and it is now thought that the machinations behind the deaths of Empress Kogo and Prince Osabe were the work of Fujiwara Momokawa, who successfully supported Yamabe against Osabe.  

After these events, however, natural disasters and plagues happened frequently and Emperor Kanmu, fearful that they were the result of the curse said to have been placed on him by Princess Inoue, had 160 high ranking Buddhist priests from various provinces around the country recite the Vajra Prajnaparamita Sutra. Along with this Princess Inoue was reburied in an imperial mountain mausoleum and given the posthumous name Empress Dowager Yoshino.


During the Nara and Heian Periods it was widely believed that natural disasters and plagues were often caused by people, usually women, who had been wrongly accused and executed and came back to earth as vengeful spirits (Onryo, 怨霊) to exact revenge. However, it was also  thought that if these vengeful spirits were placated by being restored to their original positions they would become honourable spirits (Goryo, 御霊) deserving worship as kami. These beliefs came to be known as the Goryo Faith. The Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku (one of Japan’s Six Natiional Histories) tells us that the first formal Goryo-e (御霊会, “Ceremony to Appease Evil gods and the Spirits of the Dead”) was held on May 20, 863. It involved the ceremonial enshrinement of spirit from six places, and these are the six kami shown under “Enshrined Kami, Others” to the right above. They were each worshipped in small shrines around the main shrine. Note that Fujiwara Daifujin is another name for Empress Kogo and the shrine where she is kami, Inoue Goryo-sha 井上御霊社is said to be the origin of the current Goryo Jinja. With the exception of Kotoshiru-nushi-Mikoto the enshrined kami are all historical figures connected with the shrine and are coolectively known as the Hashogoryo-Okami.

During a peasant uprising in 1451 the shrine was destroyed along with the nearby Ganko-ji Temple. It was later rebuilt in its current location and came to be known as the tutelary shrine of Ganko-ji.

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Goryo  Jinja 御霊 神社
Goryo  Jinja 御霊 神社
Goryo  Jinja 御霊 神社
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