Monday, July 4, 2011

Genbu Shrine

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Genbu Shrine is located north of the Imperial palace in Kyoto and was one of the 4 shrines for protection of the palace. It was built in the ninth century and originally enshrined a favorite sword of Prince Koretaka, a son of Emperor Montoku.

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The name Genbu refers to the guardian animal of this direction, commonly represented as a turtle entwined by a snake.

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The shrine is host on the second sunday of April to the Yasuraibana Matsuri based on hanashizume festivals which were held to ward of plagues.

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There are two secondary shrines in the grounds, one to Inari and one to Miwa Myojin which is another name for the Miwa deity Okuninushi.

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