BLOGWalking2021.08.22

"Byakko" protecting the west of Kyoto

Since the relocation of the capital to Heian-kyo, Kyoto has been regarded as' the place of Shi-jin-so-o no chi (a place suitable for the Four Gods)'.

The Four Gods are the sacred beasts of So-ryu (Blue dragon) in the East, Byakko (White tiger) in the West, Suzaku (Red phoenix) in the South, and Genbu (Black tortoise) in the north.

Soryu guarded Yasaka-jinja Shrine, Byakko guarded Matsunoo-taisha Shrine, Suzaku guarded Jonan-gu Shrine, and Genbu guarded Kamigamo-jinja Shrine (Kamowakeikazuchi-jinja Shrine).

Together with Heian-jingu Shrine, which is the center of these Four gods, it is also called the "Five Shrines of Kyoto".

In connection with "Byakkotai no Hi (Byakko troop Day)" on August 23, we introduce the places related to Byakko.

Mt. Matsuo is located in the Nishiyama mountain range where Byakko lives. Matsunoo-taisha Shrine stands at the foot of the mountain.

It is located at the west end of Shijo-dori and the opposite east end is Yasaka-jinja Shrine of Soryu.

Since ancient times, Matsunoo-taisha Shrine has been revered as a god that protects people's lives.

Snd since the relocation of the capital to Heiankyo, it has been called the "Kamo no Gen-shin (a grim god), Matsunoo no Mourei (Fierce Spirit)" and worshipped as the god of alcohol.

"Byakko Omikuji" is one of the most popular Omikuji at Matsunoo-taisha Shrine.

On the west side of the house, the face of a white tiger should be facing east.

A tiger with a lovely expression unintentionally loosens the cheeks.

白虎_リサイズ2.jpg

Heian-jingu Shrine protects the center of the four gods: So-ryu, Byakko, Suzaku and Genbu.

Stone statues associated with the Four Gods are built in the precincts that were modeled after Heiankyo.

Byakko guards the chozuya in the west.

So-ryu is enshrined in the east purification trough.

To the west are the Byakko-ro buildings, while to the east are the So-ryu-ro buildings.

Also, the names of the Four Gods were used as a unit name of Aizu Domain of Edo Shogunate.

It was after the Battle of Toba-Fushimi in 1868.

Aizu Domain, which lost the battle, organized 4 troops by age.

In descending order of age, 'Genbu-tai troop,' 'So-ryu-tai troop,' 'Suzaku-tai troop,' and 'Byakko-tai troop.'

The youngest Byakko-tai troop is said to be composed of 16 - 17 year old Samurai.

The boys in Byakko-tai troop fought for the Aizu clan and committed suicide in Mt. Iimori (Aizuwakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture).

The date is said to have been August 23, 1868.

A sad day when many young boys died.

This tragedy is said to be told by a boy member who survived alone.


Matsunoo-taisha Shrine
3 Arashiyama Miya-cho, Nishikyo Ward, Kyoto City
3 minutes walk from Hankyu Matsuo-taisha Station


Heian-jingu Shrine
Okazakinishi Tennocho, Sakyo-ward, Kyoto-city, Kyoto
5 minutes walk north from Okazaki Koen Bijutsukan Heian-jingu-mae, City bus stop
Or, 5 minutes walk north from Okazaki Koen Rohm Theater Kyoto Miyako Messe-mae, City bus stop


Here is for Matsunoo-taisha Shrine is famous for Yamabuki

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