The shrine is located at Shimoarata Town of Kagoshima City, Japan. The shrine is believe to have a spiritual power for safe birth of children. I took my pregnant wife to the shrine to obtain good luck for her safe birth.
Visit to Arata-Hachiman Shrine
We visited Arata-Hachiman Shrine which is the middle of residential area of Kagoshima City.
The shrine has more than 1,000 years of history. Following picture shows old stone towers with the name of the shrine curved on their surface.
The shrine was said to be built in the 12th century (end of Heian Era) as the branch shrine of Kagoshima Jingu Shrine, which is known as the 1st shrine of Osumi Domain.
The shrine worships “Ojin” Emperor (15th emperor of Japan) and “Tamayori-hime” (Mother of 1st emperor “Jinmu”) and “Jinko-kogo” (Mother of Ojin Emperor). By the way, the current Kinjo Emperor of Heisei Era is the 126th emperor of Japan).
Ojin Emperor is generally knows as the name of “Hachiman” in Japan. The God Hachiman had been popular among Samurai worriers such as Genji and Heishi clans. Also, the God is said to have the power to give birth to healthy baby of pure mind. “Tamayori-hime” and “Jinko-kogo” are also known as the God for safe birth of baby.
Oh? I found a small shrine building at the gate of Arata-Hachiman Shrine. The white wooden plate says that the shrine worships “Kushiiwamatonokami” or the God who guards gates of shrines.
Huge Camphor Tree
I think that there are many camphor trees at gardes of Japanese shrines. There is also a huge camphor tree at the garden of Arata-Hachima shrine.
Thick branch of the tree stretch to the sky vigorouslly. The tree is full of the power of life! It has the sacred rope “shimenawa” around itself. The circumference of the tree is as long as 4 meter!
The tree has lived for more than about 500 years.
Pray for Safe Birth
This is the main building of the shrine. The shrine is in the middle of busy city residential area, but the atmosphere is very relaxing and the air is full of something spiritual.
Clean water is springing up. The water was a little bit cold. We cleaned our hands before prayers to the God.
We bowed twice before clapping hands twice.
I hope my wife and our baby will be OK.
Shreine Seal & Good Luck Charm
I received a shrine seal of Arata-Hachiman Shrine. I have visited several shrines in Kagoshima such as Kagoshima Jingu Shrine, Kirishima Jingu Shrine, Kirishima Higashi Shrine, Nitta Shrine and Hirakiki Shrine. Today’s visit to the shrine added power of the God to safe birth and my wife could reduce her anxiety of first birth in her life.
There are many good luck chams of safe birth. They are very cute!
God Ebisu and Tankansa
Unique ston statues stand beside the main shrine building.
Left stone statue is “Ebisu” or one of the Seven Deities of Good Fortune. Other 6 Gods are not Japanese but from foreign countries. Ebisu is the God of business prosperity and huge harvest of cereals. On the sly I prayed for winning the lottery ticket!
Right stone statue is Tanokansa or the God of paddy field. He has a rice scoop on his right hand. You can find many Tankansa statues at the corner of the paddy fields in the area of southern Kyushu.
Colorful Sacred Horse
When I was cheering up runners of the 1st Kagoshima Marathon (6th March 2016) at the street near the Arata-Hachiman Shrine, I happened to discover a colorful horse at the shrine.
Actually the shrine was celebrating the Hatsuuma (first horse) festival on 25th January of lunar calendar. The horse came to the Arata-Hachiman shrine after it was dedicated at Kagoshima Jingu Shrine.
The horse puts very colorful clothes. The clothes must be heavy for him… I felt a bit sorry for the horse but it looks cute!
I was so lucky to witness the festival!
I hope you can feel relaxing atmosphere of the shrine if you watch the following video. I am sorry for my poor skill for taking videos.
- Tram : Get off tram at Arata-Hachiman-Mae
- Bus : About 50 minutes from Kagoshima Airport
- Taxi : About 10 minutes from Kagoshima Chuo Station