Shiga's Taga Taisha Shrine: Enshrined are the Husband and Wife Gods who Made the First Ever "Confession" in Japan!
Hello! I'm Shirosuzume, a writer. (*＾ ∋ ＾*)
February 14th is Valentine's Day.
With the maiden in love and the Japanese man, this is a day that makes chocolate lovers nervous.
Today, in connection with "confession" on Valentine's Day, I'll introduce Taga Taisha, which is famous as a power spot for success in love!
Please enjoy while nibbling on sweet chocolate ♪
The First "Confession" in Japan...
When it comes to Valentine's Day in Japan, people have the impression that it's a day when a woman expresses their feelings to a man they like along with chocolate.
Yes, the main event is exactly "a confession of love"! (Of course, the chocolate is also delicious.) By the way, do you know who the first Japanese woman who confessed was?
Without a doubt, it would be Izanami (Izanami Okami)!
A female god who appears at the beginning of Kojiki calls out to her husband, Izanagi (Izanagi-no-Okami), and gives birth to the country of Japan and many other gods.
The first proposal in Japan was from a woman, just like Valentine's Day in Japan.
At Taga Taisha in Shiga Prefecture, the first husband and wife gods, Izanami and Izanagi, are enshrined as deities.
It is said to be a power spot for success in love and matchmaking, making it a perfect shrine for Valentine's Day to convey your feelings to your loved ones!
About Taga Taisha Shrine
Taga Taisha is located in Taga Town, Inukami District, Shiga Prefecture.
While it's not clear when it was founded, its name is written in the Kojiki as a shrine with a long history.
"Otaga-san" in Shiga
Taga Taisha has long been known as "Otaga-san" and is believed to bring blessings such as matchmaking, longevity, and evil warding.
Recently, it has suddenly become famous as a filming location for the movie Sen wa, Boku o Egaku, which will be released in 2022.
After riding a train through the pure white snowy landscape, we'll transfer to a bus and head for Taga Taisha. Buses run infrequently, so plan ahead when using public transportation!
After getting off the bus and walking for a few minutes, you will see a cute gate sign with a torii motif. If you go down the road, you will find souvenir shops selling the specialty itokiri-mochi ("thread-cut rice cake") and other products, and you'll eventually see the stone torii gate of Taga Taisha.
Bow once and go to the precincts!
The Refreshing Precincts and Sacred Tree Sanbonsugi
The precincts of Taga Taisha are spacious, open, and filled with pure air.
The bright and sunny sky was covered with glittering powder snow, which was beautiful.
Here and there in the precincts, tall cedar trees tower over the sky. The Sanbonsugi, which is considered a sacred tree, is a majestic cedar tree with three branches, full of vitality even in the cold of midwinter.
Facing the worship hall, there is a shrine office on the left, where you can receive various kinds of omamori charms and shuin stamps.
There's a huge ladle in the worship hall!
While greeting the gods at the worship hall, a prayer was just being held. If you take a peek inside, you'll find a huge ladle!
This ladle, which is taller than a human, is actually called Otaga-shakushi and is a symbol of longevity at Taga Taisha Shrine! It is also used as a motif for omamori charms and ema tablets.
I will explain more about the ladle later.
(If you look closely inside, there's a large ladle on the pillar on the far right!)
The Enshrined Deities of Taga Taisha and the Blessings of Love
Japan's First Proposal
As mentioned in the beginning, enshrined in Taga Taisha are Izanami and Izanagi, the familiar gods in Kojiki. Since ancient times, they have been worshiped as the "parent gods of life" who gave birth to eight million gods, including the country of Japan.
According to Japan's creation myth in Kojiki, when these two pillars created Japan, the goddess Izanami called out to her husband, Izanagi, at the wedding ceremony:
"What a nice man!"
These are the words of the goddess Izanami's first Japanese proposal (lol).
After that, Izanagi also replied, "What a nice woman!"
Izanami and Izanagi officially became husband and wife. They were enthusiastic about trying to have children (i.e., country/gods), but it didn't go well for some reason, with leeches and bubbles being born as their children...
After consulting with the god of the heavens, the reason for the failure was "because the goddess (female) Izanami called out first."
Following the advice, the male god Izanagi re-confessed to the goddess, which was a great success! Awaji Island was born in good health!
Since the distant Kojiki era, it has been said that “women are charming, men are ballsy” (lol).
Blessing for Success in Love and Matchmaking
Izanami and Izanagi, who had a hard time confessing, became husband and wife gods.
Taga Taisha, which enshrines these two pillars, is said to have great blessings for love and matchmaking.
For love, there is a cute charm called koi-mamori hanamusubi with pink and white flower motifs, and for matchmaking, there's a charm called Taga-yui-mamori.
If you want to have a matching pair with your significant other, I recommend the sachi-mamori, which is an omamori charm with a set of red and white knots! It seems to be able to give you support to ensure that you and your partner continue to be happy together.
There's also the special Shinto wedding ceremony!
You can also hold a wedding ceremony at Taga Taisha.
If Izanami and Izanagi, the first husband and wife gods, pledged eternal love at the shrine of the enshrined deity, it'd definitely be the best ceremony to celebrate a couple's departure.
At the wedding ceremony at Taga Taisha, you can customize the details of the reception, the food, the costumes, and more to your liking.
Especially recommended for those who want to have a wonderful special ceremony at the shrine!
Even Blessings of Longevity
Taga Taisha is said to have great blessings in longevity and curing illness.
Let's take a look at some famous stories.
The Otaga-shakushi that cured Emperor Gensho's illness
Let's start with the story of Emperor Gensho's recovery from illness.
Legends say that when Emperor Gensho was ill, the priest of Taga Taisha cooked steamed sticky rice and presented it with a ladle made from a hornbeam tree, and he was cured immediately.
Since then, the ladle has been called the Otaga-shakushi and has become a symbol of longevity at Taga Taisha. There are also ema and omamori in the shape of a ladle, which are unique and cute.
The giant rice paddles in the worship hall are also a must-see when visiting!
Hideyoshi prayed for his mother's recovery from illness.
Apparently, Hideyoshi Toyotomi also believed deeply in Taga Taisha.
He prayed for his mother, Omandokoro's recovery from illness, and offered 10,000 koku of rice to the shrine.
It is said that the Taiko Bridge and Okushoin Teien Garden that appear before you after passing through the front torii gate were created via Hideyoshi’s offerings.
Chogen had his life span increased! A longevity story
Shunjobo Chogen was a Heian-period monk who was involved in the reconstruction of the Todaiji Temple.
In order to complete the grand task of rebuilding the temple, Chogen prayed to Taga Taisha Shrine for a long life. As a result, he was blessed with an extra 20 years of life, and his great wish was fulfilled!
In the precincts, there are also stones related to Chogen, such as the Jumyo-ishi ("life stone") and Kigan-no-Shiroishi ("prayer white stone").
Taga Taisha is a shrine with great divine virtues not only for matchmaking but also for longevity and recovery from illness.
How did you like it?
The Taga Taisha enshrines Izanami and Izanagi, the first husband and wife gods in Japan. It seems to have strong blessings for matchmaking and longevity!
On Valentine's Day, the gods can be relied upon for not just prayers for success in love but also post-romance wedding ceremonies and marital bliss for many years to come.
Valentine's Day is a day to express love.
To that person you have a one-sided love with.
To your long-term companion.
And to the gods who illuminate our lives with love like the sun.
Say “I love you” and “Thank you” with all your heart.
The wonderful Otaga-san in Shiga.
Make sure to pay a visit on Valentine's Day this year♪
・12 minutes by train from JR Hikone Station・20 minutes by bus ・20 minutes by bus from JR Minami-Hikone Station ・25 minutes by train from Shinkansen Maibara Station
・10 minutes by car from Hikone IC on the Meishin Expressway ・20 minutes on foot from Taga SA on the Meishin Expressway