Kohata-jinja Shrines (許波多神社)
The Kohata-jinja Shrines are Shinto shrines located in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture. They have been identified as the 'Kohata-jinja Shrines' (Myojin Taisha) listed in the Jinmyocho (Register of Deities) of the Engishiki (procedures of the Engi era) but within Uji City there are shrines named Kohata-jinja Shrine in the two adjacent areas of Kohata and Gokasho, and these both have different histories. The shrines were ranked as Gosha (village shrine) under the old shrine classification system. They were both formerly named Yanagi Daimyojin Shrine.
They are classified in the Engishiki Jinmyocho as a Myojin Taisha. The shrines are said to be where Oama-no-Miko (later Emperor Tenmu) and SAKANOUE no Tamuramaro prayed for victory, and they are worshipped as shrines that bring good luck. Both Kohata-jinja Shrines enshrine Ameno Oshihomimi.
As the only Engishiki-listed shrines to enshrine Ameno Oshihomimi are the Kohata-jinja Shrines, it is written in the Kamakura period "Shaku Nihongi" (an annotated text of the Nihon Shoki) that 'The kami at the Kohata-jinja Shrines are deities of ancestral mausoleums and should be revered in a manner that is different from others.'
In 1596, the deities were awarded the highest rank of Shoichii (Senior First Rank).
The shrine buildings were almost completely destroyed by fires arising from conflicts during the Sengoku Period (Period of Warring States) and their ancient records were lost.
Gokasho Kohata-jinja Shrine
In addition to Ameno Oshihomimi, the shrine also enshrines Ninigi and Kan Yamato Iwarehikono Mikoto (Emperor Jinmu).
According to a report made to the emperor by Soganokurano Yamadano ISHIKAWA no Maro in the year 645, the Emperor Kotoku ordered NAKATOMI no Kamatari to build a shrine enshrining imperial ancestors at Kohata-so. This shrine came to be known as 'Yanagi Daimyojin Shrine' as it was located in Yanagiyama, and was formally named 'Yanagi-jinja Shrine' until the Edo period. During the Meiji period, the entire shrine was commandeered by the state to serve as a gunpowder magazine; during which time the deities were transferred to the their current location in what was the building in which the sacred palanquin was stored in the former village of Okada and this was also the time when the shrine was renamed to its previous name of Kohata-jinja Shrine.
The shrine has a pair of male and female god statues (Bato Tenno and Benzaiten) that are believed to date from the latter part of the Heian period but these are housed in the attached temple. The main sanctuary is thought to have been constructed during the Kamakura period and enshrines a statue of Ameno Oshihomimi.
A horseracing ritual used to be held on a bridle path that extends approximately 218 m to the east and west of the shrine, and this shrine is believed to be 'the birthplace of horseracing.'
The Heian period stirrups that remain at the shrine have been designated Important Cultural Properties. The Bato Tenno statue has also led the shrine to become renowned as 'Uma no Jinja' (lit. Horse Shrine) and draw many worshippers from among horseracing fans and those involved in the horseracing world.
Important Cultural Properties
A pair of iron half-tongue style stirrups with a copper-inlaid flower and peacock motif; designation also includes a pair of iron long-tongue style stirrups
Tangible Cultural Property Designated by Kyoto Prefecture
A pair of male and female god statues
Kohata Kohata-jinja Shrine
According to shrine legend, in the year 645 the Emperor Kogyoku received a divine message in a dream saying 'I am a sky god with no shrine on earth and I ask you to enshrine my spirit' and ordered NAKATOMI no Kamatari to build a shrine at Kohata-so.
When Oama-no-Miko departed Otsunomiya for Yoshino before the Jinshin Rebellion, he picked a branch from a willow tree in front of the shrine and prayed for victory; 'May this branch bud if I come to ascend to the imperial throne.'
When Oama-no-Miko ascended to the throne, the willow branch budded and the emperor praised the miracle by granting the shrine the name "Yanagi Daimyojin" and donating land.
The shrine has also enshrined Amaterasu Omikami and Amatsu Hikone no Mikoto since 1908 when the deities of Tanaka-jinja Shrine in the former village of Kawahara were enshrined together with the existing deities.
Shrines within the Precinct