The temple is part of a shrine whose official name is Totenno Okazaki.
Built in 794, during the Heian period, on one of the four cardinal corners of the capital Kyoto to protect the imperial family.
It was called “East Tenno” because it was east of the capital.
Okazaki Shrine is dedicated to the mythical kamis Susano-no-mikoto and Kushinadahime-no-mikoto and their three daughters and five sons.
The deity Susanoo-no-Mikoto, his consort Kushinadahime-no-Mikoto and their children are enshrined here.
Susanoo-no-Mikoto is a hero of Japanese mythology.
He saved Princess Kushinada from the monster called Yamata no Orochi.
They fell in love, got married and had many children.
They are also known at Gion Yasaka Shrine and other shrines around the country.
The photo shows Susanoo-no-Mikoto slaying Yamata no Orochi.
Let us return to our sheep or rather to our rabbits.
The Okazaki shrine is better known to Kyotoites than tourists, popular with people who love rabbits, which in this place have a beneficial effect for couples or women wishing to have children, for childbirth, marriage, marital harmony and the education of children.
The whole temple is full of small and large rabbits which, according to legend, are messengers for the deities of this sanctuary.
The problem is that no one knows the real reason why this temple is dedicated to rabbits.
The only known theory was that on this place there were many wild rabbits living in the shrine and the temples.
After passing through the torii entrance gate, the place expands into a relaxing and sprawling open space.
You will come across many sculptures, statues and images of rabbits as you go.
In front of the main hall, you will see the Maneki Usagi of the temple, watched closely by the guardians of the temple.
The bunny on your right ”Agata” is for marriage and the bunny on the left Ungyo is for good fortune.
Near the main hall in the Chozuya, you will find a black granite statue of a rabbit gazing up at the moon.
His name is “Kosazuke Usagi” and for ladies it is customary to pour water on his head while holding your stomach.
This will have a beneficial effect for procreation and childbirth without danger.
If you wish to benefit from the benefits represented by the small lagomorphs of this temple, do not hesitate to take a look.
If you have children, go there with your family and hunt the rabbits that are hidden everywhere around the temple.
A fun time for children and family…
Photo: Jacky, Internet
Writer: Jacky De Greef
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