Hachidai Jinja Shrine (八大神社)

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Miyamoto Musashi fought a duel near Hachidai Jinja Shrine (Ichijoji Sagarimatsu).

History

Hachidai Shrine dates back to the Heian period. The date of the founding of Hachidai Jinja Shrine is unknown. But in 1294, eight deities associated with the area (Hachidaitenno) were enshrined. These deities are believed to protect the local community and ensure their prosperity. The shrine has been a significant spiritual center for over a thousand years.

Hachidai Shrine is the guardian deity of the Ichijoji area in the northern part of Kyoto. It is also called Kita-tenno (North Gion Shrine) and is located in the Kimon (north-eastern corner) of Kyoto together with Tanukidani-san Fudoin Temple.

Shrine’s official WEB site

Hachidai Jinja Shrine and Miyamoto Musashi

The sword saint Miyamoto Musashi had a deep connection with the shrine.

Site of a duel

The most famous episode is the duel with the Yoshioka clan that took place in 1604. Before the duel, Musashi visited this shrine and prayed for victory. However, he realized his weakness in relying on the gods and Buddha, and went into battle without praying.

The duel took place at a place called “Ichijyo-ji Sagari Matsu (pine tree)” on the shrine grounds. You can see the old pine tree as a sacred tree and a statue of Musashi.

Items related to Musashi

The shrine has a large collection of items associated with Musashi. On display are a “small sword from the Yoshioka clan”, which Musahi used in a duel, and a “wooden sword”, which Musashi dedicated.

There is also a small mound “Musashi Mound” in the precincts of the temple, possibly the burial place of Musashi.

Model course to visit Hachidai Jinja

There is a concentration of small but beautiful temples in Ichijo area of Kyoto. It makes a perfect one day tour of northern Kyoto.

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