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Usa-jingu
Legacy of the Kyushu No.1 Power
Date:12, Aug, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Hello. There are numberless shrines all over Japan. Among them, I'm picking up Usa-jingu, the Japanese popular shrine standing in Usa-shi, Oita, Japan. It is almost unpopular because you have not heard, you may say. Well, I know. Let me here explain for a while now.

First of all, do you know Oita? I suppose you hardly hear the place name in your usual life. Oita is one prefecture of Kyushu (the western parts of Japan). And you can find Usa-jingu in the northern Oita. They say the Usa-jingu is a famed tourist spot, you can see a great many visitors there on New Year's Day every year. No idea about 2021 for Covid-19...



The Southern Gate of Usa-jingu

File: Usa Shrine Nanchu Romon.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on November 18, 2010)




The Kure Bridge of Usa-jingu

File: Usa Shrine Kurehashi 01.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on November 18, 2010)


What's so special about the shrine? They say Usa-jingu is the grand head of all Hachiman shrines in Japan. We have over 40 thousand shrines whose names include Hachiman, Usa-jingu is the head of them all. What does the Hachiman mean? you must ask. Hachiman is Hachiman-shin, deity of war. Hachiman has been revered by successive military commanders in Japan's history. Of course, the Imperial Household have also worshiped.

Today it may look only like one of countless shrines built in Japan. But they say it was the richest one in Kyushu when they had the manorial system, before they established monetary economy. With no power, they couldn't build such a large-scaled shrine. In other words, it is a legacy of the Kyushu No.1 power in those days. So they have repeated disputes over the chief priest post of Usa-jingu, even the 21st century. If you have a chance to visit, forget what I wrote here.






 

Fushimi-inari Taisha
The Grand Head of All Inari-shrines

Izumo-taisha
No One Knows When It Was Established