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Ohmi Jingu
Enshrines the 38th Emperor in Shiga
Date:21, Jan, 2019
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello, everybody. I'm so glad to be here with you now. Today I'm talking about Ohmi Jingu Shrine standing in Ohtsu, Shiga. Have you ever been to Shiga? The prefecture is next to Kyoto in the West Japan.

First, I'd like to explain what's enshrined in the shrine. Emperor Tenji is it. Who is it? The 38th Emperor of Japan who'd lived in the 7th century. He reformed Japanese politics in conspiracy with Fujiwara-no Kamatari. That's called Taika Reform. What was reformed? Some powerful families had been at the center of the politics before the revolution, but they put the Emperor at the center. And they began to use an era name. The first era name of Japan was Taika. So it's called Taika Reform.

Today Japanese people use an era name Heisei. It means that Emperor Tenji was an originator of the era name system which has lasted from the 7th century until today.



Ohmi Jingu Shrine
Source: Omi-jingu07n4592.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photed on September 4, 2010)

Well, you got what he was, but you have no idea about the reason why they enshrine him? I know. Let me here suggest my personal hypothesis. It says that the reason is tightly connected with the time when it was built. The shrine was built in 1940. Yes, it is the 20th century. Of course, he passed away in the 7th century.

Why did they build in 1940? This is just my opinion. As you know, it was right in the midst of the World War 2. In 1940, Germans attacked the Kingdom of Denmark and Romania. The United Kingdom made an invasion upon Iceland. Japan attacked China from the air. Eating rice was forbidden in most of Tokyo restaurants. 1940 is the time of these things.

In 1940 Japan, they were mostly crazy about war in the name of Emperor. They all worshipped an image of the Emperor in the war. As mentioned above, Emperor Tenji was an originator of the politics whose center was taken by the Emperor. In Shiga, some planned to built a shrine enshrining Emperor Tenji. That might have brought some political fruits to them in the frenzy. Who proves that no one politically benefited by building the shrine? I dare say it is alright if you can. This is just my opinion with kind of distrust.



The Gate of Ohmi Jingu Shrine
Source: Omi-jingu02n4592.jpg
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photed on September 4, 2010)






 

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