story 1

Dazaifu Tenmangu is a shrine to Sugawara no Michizane. The tale of Michizane’s life ended with quiet contemplation in Dazaifu, followed by posthumous reverence as the God of Learning. Venture through the narrow streets of Dazaifu to uncover the yet undiscovered true face of Michizane.

Sugawara no Michizane, loyal retainer to the emperor, fell victim to false accusations by the envious Fujiwara family, leading to his exile as a proxy governor in Dazaifu. This position was in name only, as he was barred from entering government offices. He led a life of inconvenience at the weathered South Hall government building along central Suzaku Avenue, where all he could do was listen to the bell of nearby Kanzeonji Temple. Forlorn, Michizane sought solace on Mt. Tenpai to the south of Dazaifu, where legend tells of his plea to the heavens for justice.
Michizane’s life ended in despair. When his body was being transported by ox cart, the oxen stopped unexpectedly and refused to move. This became his burial site, and would also become the site of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. Michizane was posthumously vindicated and became revered as the god Tenjin at over 10,000 Tenmangu shrines throughout Japan. This formed the foundation of Dazaifu as it is today, a town dedicated to the deity Sugawara no Michizane.
The sacred Jinko procession between Tenmangu Shrine and Jomyoin (a shrine built on the site of Nankan, now called Enoki-sha Shrine) began around 900 years ago to honor the spirit of Michizane.