Denden-gu Shrine (電電宮)

Denden-gu Shrine is a guardian god shrine of Horin-ji Temple located in Arashiyama, Nishigyo Ward, Kyoto City and enshrines deities that are worshipped as pioneers in the field of electricity and electromagnetic waves.

Summary

Horin-ji Temple was founded during the Nara period and is dedicated to the principal image Kokuzo Bosatsu. The later syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism led to the construction of a guardian god shrine within the temple grounds. It was said the morning star (Venus) fell from the sky and Kokuzo Bosatsu appeared on the day that the vow made by the Nara period monk Dosho during a questioning ritual held on the site was fulfilled, and based on this legend, Myojo-sha Shrine was built to enshrine the lightning god Denden-Myojin as the embodiment of Myojo Tenshi who represents the star. Since ancient times, the god of lightning has also been regarded as the god of paddy fields and Denden-gu Shrine was widely worshipped by local residents. However, the shrine was destroyed by fire along with the temple's main hall during the Hamaguri Rebellion of 1864 and the deity was long enshrined within a temporary shrine.

Due to the increasing use of radio devices, in 1956 Kinnosuke HIRABAYASHI, the then Director of the Kinki Bureau of Telecommunications, advocated that Denden Myojin be enshrined as the god of electricity and electromagnetic waves and that the shrine should also publicly honor the spirits of pioneering researchers and entrepreneurs in fields related to electricity and electromagnetic waves. This met with the agreement of those active in electricity and radio within the Kansai region and the shrine was restored (although the shrine retained its temporary buildings) with the Denden-to Pagoda being constructed within the grounds of Horin-ji Temple to honor the spirits of those who pioneered electricity and radio. Copper statues of Thomas Edison and Heinrich Hertz stand in the Denden-to Pagoda to represent electricity researchers and electromagnetic wave researchers respectively. The shrine was rebuilt and renamed Denden-gu Shrine in 1966 to commemorate Expo '70 held in Osaka.

In January 1979, the Denden-gu Goji-kai, an association to preserve Denden-gu Shrine (Denden-gu Shrine Hosan-kai and Denden-to Pagoda Hosan-kai) was formed and the organization is working to maintain Denden-gu Shrine and Denden-to Pagoda. Today the shrine is worshipped not only for pioneers of electricity and electromagnetic wave research but also for persons involved in computers and telecommunications.