Where Gods of Arts Reside ”Tenkawa Daibenzaitensha”

Where Gods of Arts Reside
”Tenkawa Daibenzaitensha”

Where Enno Gyoja and Kobou Daishi rained

Many may be familiar with the movie ”The Tenkawa Legend Murders” from the book written by author, Yasuo Uchida. The movie takes place at the ”Tenkawa shrine” and the ”Tenkawa Daibenzaitensha”.
According to the ”Tamonin Diary” that was written at Kofukuji over a period of 150 years, starting from the Muromachi period to the beginning of the Edo period over 3 generations, the founding of the temple dates back to the Asuka period.
It is said that it was founded when Enno Gyoja, the ”shugendo” founder trained here before Ohmine mountains were founded, enshrining the top god Misen here. It is also known to be the mountains where Kobo Daishi underwent training before Koyasan was founded and his relics still remain in the shrine.
In the earlier mentioned ”The Tenkawa Legend Murders”, Noh plays an important role in the mystery, and this part is in fact true, as Tenkawa Daibenzaitensha and Noh have a strong bond.

Deeply related with the arts and entertainment

Tenkawa Daibenzaitensha has always been worshipped as gods for arts. They have always been known from the past to have conducted ”dengaku” to ward off evil spirits and to pay respects to the spirits of the ancestors. Kanze Motomasa, descendant of Kanami, who perfected Noh had also paid visits to the shrine, and dedicated his Noh to the gods, leaving masks he used to the shrine.
The shrine has continued to gain people’s faith with the shrine worshipping gods of peace and of the arts. Noh stages for dedication to the gods have been performed numbers of times. Masks and such are constantly being dedicated, thus Tenkawa Daibenzaiten has incessant offers from museums domestically and abroad asking for permission to use the pieces for their exhibitions.
At Tenkawa Daibenzaiten, the main hall of Benzaiten and the Noh stage put together is referred to as ”Myoonin”. This is because the god, Benzaiten has another name, ”Myoonten”. Myoonten is a god that plays the ”biwa”. The Daibenzaiten is a shrine where music resonates.


Tenkawa Daibenzaitensha
107 Tsubouchi Tenkawamura Yoshino-gun Nara
URL http://www.tenkawa-jinja.or.jp/