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Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine in Osaka is the Grand Head Shrine of the 2,300 Sumiyoshi Shrines in Japan.

The history of Sumiyoshi Taisha is very old, and detailed descriptions can be found in Nihon-shoki and Kojiki, which are the first-class history books written in the early 7th century. In fact, excavations have unearthed a large number of artifacts dating back to the 5th-6th century. At that time, this place was called Suminoe-tsu port, and ships carrying many envoys departed for China from the 7th to the 9th century. They were the so-called Sui envoys, or later Tang envoys. Their purpose was to import the advanced culture of the Chinese dynasties at that time. Therefore, this shrine was under the control of the imperial court to pray for the safety of a long and strict voyage before sailing. After the dispatch of envoys was discontinued at the end of the 9th century, the position of this shrine gradually changed. From the 10th to the 12th century, it was worshipped by the aristocracy of Kyoto as a god of waka poetry. Then, in the 17th century, it began to be worshipped by samurai and ordinary people. As it originally was a god in charge of safe navigation, ship wholesalers all over the country began to donate a large amount of money in response to the development of commercial navigation since the 17th century. Many stone lanterns donated by these wholesalers still stand in the precincts. There are four main shrines, one of which is shown in the first photo, and all of them are designated as national treasures. The second photo is Sori-hashi bridge, the symbol of this shrine, which is said to be designed in the image of a rainbow that connects the earth and heavens.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.

全国通訳案内士 高木聖久。


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