Tensha Tsuchimikado Shinto (天社土御門神道)

Tensha Tsuchimikado Shinto is a school of Shinto religion/Onmyodo (way of Yin and Yang; occult divination system based on the Taoist theory of the five elements) with its headquarters in Oi-cho (formerly Natasho-mura area), Fukui Prefecture.


The main branch of the Abe clan which took over the studies of astronomy and the calendar was later given the title of 'Tsuchimikado' by Emperor, and served as one of the Tosho Families (the hereditary lineage of Court nobles occupying relatively high ranks), named the Tsuchimikado family (Abe clan) since then. The family moved to Wakasa Province where its shoryo (territory) was located, and lived there for several generations to avoid wars in the imperial capital from the middle of the Muromachi period to the Sengoku period (period of warring states in Japan).

After the end of the wars, the family returned to the capital, but faced the wrath of Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI, because it was implicated in the Hidetsugu incident. As it was forced to leave the capital once again, the Court Onmyodo temporarily discontinued.

However, when the Toyotomi family declined after the end of the Battle of Sekigahara, Hisanaga TSUCHIMIKADO was approved as 'the grand master of Onmyodo,' and started again to serve in the Court in 1600. And, he conducted the ceremony of appointment of Ieyasu as Seii taishogun (literally, "great general who subdues the barbarians") in 1603.

Hisanaga TSUCHIMIKADO was followed by Yasushige TSUCHIMIKADO, and Yasuhiro TSUCHIMIKADO. When the follower, Yasutomi TSUCHIMIKADO assumed the post of Onmyodo head in May 1683, "Emperor Reigen's Rinji" was issued, stating the control of Onmyodo in all the provinces should be left to the Tsuchimikado family. At the same time, it was approved by the shuinjo of Tsunayoshi TOKUGAWA, and Tsuchimikado came to obtain the control of Onmyoji (Master of Yin yang) across the country and the right to prepare calendars. Yasutomi, who was influenced by Ansai YAMAZAKI, incorporated Suika Shinto (Shinto thoughts advocated by Ansai YAMAZAKI) into Onmyodo, and established the original Shinto theory.
It is generally said this was the start of 'Tsuchimikado Shinto.'

The systematization of Onmyodo by the Tsuchimikado family spread throughout the country at the end of the Edo period. However, Onmyoryo (a government office that had jurisdiction over calendar preparation, astronomy, divination, etc.) was abolished in 1870 after Meiji Restoration, and Daijokan (Grand Council of State) pronounced Tsuchimikado that Daigaku-ryo (Bureau of Education under the ritsuryo system) should be responsible for the affairs related to astronomy and the study of the calendar since then.

This deprived Onmyoji of their social status, and Onmyoji, who lost patronage, changed jobs, or went into their own religious activities.

Mixed with citizens' manners, customs, and religious faith in this manner, Onmyodo was integrated into daily life.

An-ke Shinto (Tsuchimikado Shinto) is modern Onmyodo that has been protected by the persons involved in former times, while being influenced by old Shinto in such circumstances.

At present, the Onmyodo head family "Tsuchimikado Shinto Headquarters" which has only one shrine in Japan are located in Oi-cho (formerly Natasho-mura area), Fukui Prefecture, which used to be Tsuchimikado family's territory.