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Nakayama is in between Narita And Haneda International Airport

中山・下総・散歩道

Tenjinsama: The Deified Spirit Of Sugawara no Michizane

Tenjin is basically implying to gods in the heaven (amatsu kami) opposed to gods in the earth (kunitsu kami), the word Tenjin has no connections to any gods. However, Tenjin could be meant the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane when he had been named the Hono Ikazuchi no Tenjin and awarded the title of the god 'Tenma Daijizaiten', and also the faith in Tenjin could be connected to the faith in the god of thunder, then the spirit of Michizane has been called Tenjin in general.
Sugawara no Michizana (845 - 903) was one of the greatest politicians in Heian period (794 - 1185), and he was also famous for his vengeful spirit.
Michizane was shuffled out to Dazaifu, the local office to be the ministry of foreign affairs in Kyushu, by a false charge by Fujiwara no Tokihira, so he was demoted to the chief minister of foreign affairs from the Minister of the Right in the central government. After he died in his uncontrollably anger, Tokihira and his political enemies had one misfortune after another. Moreover epidemics were prevalent and natural disasters such as droughts, floods and earthquakes happened throughout Japan. In 930, The lightning struck on the enemies while a raining rite were being held in the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. Then the rumors flew among the people that these disasters had to be done by the spirit of Sugawara no Michizane.
Thousands of people who had believed the lightening could have to be the rage of Michizane, and the political enemies of Michizane in Kyoto were captured by the belief and were strongly frightened his spirit. However farmers believed him faithfully to be the god of thunder that he would bring adequate amount of water on their fields to grow crops, so Michizane has believed throughout Japan.
Since 50 years from the death of Michizane, the Imperial government had got several revelations from his spirit. As a result, the government dedicated him as Daijo Itokuten and Tenma Daijizaiten at Kitano in Kyoto.
In addition, Michizane is very popular as the god of scholarship because he excelled in academic scholarship.
Michizane is now one of the most popular god believed by people, especially young people faithfully believe to pass in their examinations.
Kitano Tenmangu Shrine in Kyoto and Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine in Fukuoka are famous, Yushima Tenjin Shrine and Kameido Tenjin Shrine are famous shrines in Tokyo.


参考
北野天満宮ホームページ
大宰府天満宮ホームページ
湯島天神ホームページ
デジタル大辞林
明鏡国語辞典
ブリタニカ国際大百科
新漢語林
日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ)
ウィッキペディア

Sugawara no Michizane / Michizane Sugawara (845-903)

Michizane Sugawara was a scholar and a politician in early Heian period. His father is Koreyoshi. He is called 'Kanko' and 'Kan Josho'. And he has been believed as the god of scholar and is called Tenjinsama. The Emperor Uta adopted him to restrain the power of the Fujiwara Family in the court, so Michizane was promoted to a Monjo Hakase (a professor of literature), then he was selected for a Kuroudo no to (a Head Chamberian). Though he became a Kento Taishi (the chief commander of the envoy to Tang Dynasty in China) in 894, Michinaga made proposal to abolish the envoy to Tang Dynasty. When the Emperor Daigo acceded to the throne, he was promoted to the Udaijin (the Right Minister) and he became the Sadaijin (the Left Minister) in 901, so he competed for advancement at the court. However, he was demoted to a Dazai Gon no Sochi (the ministry of foreign affairs in Kyushu) by some false charges of Tokihira Fujiwara. In 903, he was dead at Dazaifu.
Michinaga Sugawara was dedicated as Daijo Itokuten and Tenma Daijizaiten at Kitano in Kyoto and he is the god of scholarship. People call him Tenjinsama with their faithful mind.
He edited 'Ruiju Kokushi' and 'Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku'. And his poem 'Kanke Monjo' and 'Kanke Goshu' are famous.
His tanka poem, 'Kochi fukaba niohi okoseyo ume no hana aruji nashi tote haru na wasure so' is very famous.


参考
日本史辞典 新制版
大辞林
世界日本人名事典