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”Hiyoshi Taisha” Enshrining the Gods of Mt. Hiei

”Hiyoshi Taisha”
Enshrining the Gods of Mt. Hiei

Sanno Head Shrine Hiyoshi Taisha
5-1-1 Sakamoto Otsu-shi Shiga

A Stroll in the revered woods

Mt. Hiei is associated with Enryakuji temple. Here resides Buddha as well as Shinto Gods. Dating back a few centuries from the founding of Enryakuji, Ooyamakui no Kami was said to have landed on Mt. Hachioji, a part of the Hieisan mountains, and he was enshrined and worshipped at Hiyoshi Taisha. Since then, he has been revered as the local god. However, upon the transfer of the Heian capital because Hiyoshi Taisha stood on the northeast, believed to be on ”kimon”, the direction where evil is, and they have since been highly revered as the shrine to ward off evil and the unfortunate. This became famous even further upon the founding of Enryakuji. Saicho worshipped and referred to the local Gods to be the protectors for Enryakuji temple and called it Sanno Gongen. When the Tendai sect that Saicho had established spread nationwide, it also spread the protecting god, Hiyoshi Taisha along with it. This is how Hiyoshi, Hie, and Sanno Shrines became the head shrines to the 3800 shrines around the country.

With the History of Hiei

Mt. Hiei is a location that has been the scene of many historical events. Mt. Hiei was set on fire by Oda Nobunaga, and on this day Hiyoshi Taisha was also destroyed. However, restoration by Toyotomi Hideyoshi was immediate. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whose name as a child was Hiyoshimaru, seemed to have considered Hiyoshi Taisha to be special. Another theory about Hideyoshi restoring the shrine is that the monkey is worshipped to be servants to the Gods at Hiyoshi Taisha, and because his nickname was ”monkey” he had a special feeling for the shrine. Although there are many theories, the fact is that Hiyoshi Taisha was an inevitable existence for the people.


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