Sugawara-no-Michizane, who was one of the highest-ranking aristocrats of the Imperial Court in Kyoto in the second half of the 9th century, was relegated Dazaifu in Kyushu due to a conspiracy by his rivals.
Dazaifu, about 600 kilometers west of Kyoto, was an important regional facillity of the central government at that time.
In Dazaifu, he was left without work and enough food, adequate clothing and a suitable house, so he died of weakness at the age of 59, only two years later. After his death, fire caused by lightning strikes frequently broke out in Kyoto, and the people who tried to plot fell ill one after another. Therefore the rumor spread that his ghost ascended to the heaven to become lightning to take revenge. Thereafter, the Imperial Court decided to build the Tenmangu Shrine in Kitano, Kyoto to quell his grudge that had turned into thunderbolts. This shrine has been revered by the Kyoto locals as the so-called Tenjin, heavenly spirit, who calms the thunderbolts. When Japan became stabilized in the Edo Period in the 17th century, Michizane came to be respected as a spirit of learning based on the historical fact that he made many achievements as a scholar. Today, he is worshipped by many scholars and students across the country. As this shrine has divided Michizane's spirit into many small shrines in Japan since former years, it is considered the main shrine of Tenmangu Shrines, the so-called Tenjin. Sanko-mon gate in the first photo is designated as an important cultural property and Honden main building in the second photo is a national treasure.
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