With a history of over 1,300 years, Tsuyunoten Shrine is also the site of the Naniwa Yasoshima festival. Known as the protector of the Sonezaki and Umeda regions, the shrine is still visited by many people who come to pay their respects.
Over a century ago, the city of Osaka was a bay consisting of several small islands and sandbanks. According to historical documents, Tsuyunoten Shrine was founded on one of the small islands near Osaka Bay, and it was known as the site where the god of Sumiyoshi Sumuchisone was worshipped, which marked the beginning of the Naniwa Yasoshima festival*1. The name Sonezaki (formerly known as Soneshu) is said to be derived from this.
It is not clear what exact year the shrine was built, but the Naniwa Yasoshima festival can be traced back to the third year of the Kasho era (the year 850) during Emperor Montoku’s reign. In addition, the shrine was firmly established during Emperor Kimmei’s reign during the 6th century, so historians often cite this era as the beginning of the shrine’s history. Tsuyunoten Shrine is also evident on a map of Naniwa (the area that eventually would become modern day Osaka) that was drawn during the first year of the Jotoku era (the year 1097).
In the Nanbokucho era, Soneshu gradually expanded to become the contiguous area of Sonezaki. In year 7 of the Meiji period (1894), the first Osaka train station was built, and in 1905 the Hankyu Umeda station was established. Spurred by the various expansions of the region, Tsuyunoten Shrine became known as the protector of Umeda and Sonezaki, two central areas in Osaka, and attracted many worshippers.
A poem written by Sugawara no Michizane at Tsuyunoten Shrine.
In February of year 4 (the year 901) of the Shotai period, while Sugawara no Michizane was on his way towards Tsukushi Province, he wrote the aforementioned poem while being guided around Taiyuji Temple, which is located to the east of Tsuyunoten Shrine, and this led to the shrine being named “Tsuyunoten” (Tsuyu meaning dew in Japanese). (According to a theory listed in the Setsumeishozue, a book written in the 18th century that introduced various famous areas with pictures and text).
In March, 1622, Jirozaemon the 9th’s grandson, Minamoto no Tazune Shinbei Watanabe, reconstructed the shrine that was burned down in the Siege of Osaka. When doing so. Emperor Go-Yōzei rewrote the God’s spirits to honor the shrine.
◆According to the Setsuyougundan (a topographical catalog created during the Edo period), the shrine was named Tsuyunotenjin because the annual festival was held during the summer rainy season. Also, according to another theory, the shrine got its name because fresh water would flow out of the well during the rainy season, and was a valuable source of water for the people in the region.
The Tsuyunotenjin shrine was burnt to the ground in June of 1945 (year 20 of the Showa period), so it was rebuilt and completed on September 20, 1957 (year 32 of the Showa period). For the Kanko-goshin-ki Festival and the 20th anniversary celebrations of the shrine reconstruction, many parts of the grounds was renovated including the building of the shrines surrounding fences. Also in 1993, the shrine office, Sanshuden, and the front and torii gates were built.
The god of medicine, pharmacology, recovery from illness, success in business, brewing of sake, hot springs, protector of nation building, and the child of Takamimusubi. (A god of Ebisu)
After swearing an oath of brotherhood with Okuninushi, they worked hard to manage the building of the nation. In the Chronicles of Japan, he is also described as the ancestral god of medicine and pharmacology, the god of recovery from illnesses, and is worshipped by people as the god of success in business.
The god of nation building, prosperity, medicine, connection to Buddha, the 6th generation descendant of Susanoo, and also known as Ookuninushigami.
He is said to have managed the royal kingdom and given the ability to heal illnesses. He was also a valiant god with great military power, and considered a god with many skills and abilities, including having connections to Buddha and being able to cure illnesses. He is also known by some as Ookuni-san.
She is the goddess of the Imperial Palace. Her divine abilities include having no limits or boundaries in time or space and being the goddess of the sun.
She is the daughter of Izanagi and Izanami, and the sister of Susanoo. She is one of the major characters and appears in many Japanese myths.
She is the goddess of agriculture and industry and is enshrined at Geku, Ise shrine.
She was originally enshrined in the Tanba region, but was ordered to move to Ise shrine to offer sacred food to Amaterasu Omikami, the Sun Goddess. She is equally worshipped at Kotai shrine as she is at the Imperial House of Japan.
The god of learning and knowledge, and one of the early philosophers and politicians of the Heian period.
Due to his sharp mind from an early age, he surprised people by writing a famous poem at the age of 5. After gaining the confidence of the Imperial court, he moved on from a scholar to a politician. By the age of 53, he had climbed his way up to Udaijin (Minister of the right) but he was exiled to Dazaifu by Tokihira, who was the first-ranking minister to Emperor Daigo, and died a lonely death at the age of 59. After his death, the unnatural deaths of various leaders and natural disasters continued, as people believed this was the revenge of Sugawara Michizane’s revenge. As a result, the Imperial court decided to built Tenman-gu, shrines that enshrined Sugawara no Michizane as Tenjin in various areas throughout the country and he became worshipped by many people in Japan.
There is an ancient belief that by passing one’s hand over his/her ill body part(s), and by doing the same on “kamiushiisan”, otherwise known as “nadeushiisan”, the person’s illness will heal.
In recent years, it is also believed to be a God of education.