A major renovation has begun on the main sanctuary of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, an important cultural property of Japan. In anticipation of the grand festival in 2027, marking 1125 years since the death of Sugawara no Michizane (the deity worshipped here), a temporary shrine was built in front of the main sanctuary. This will be used during the major renovation, which is being undertaken for the first time in 124 years and will span three years.
The special temporary shrine was constructed with the hope of creating a place that pleases both the deity Tenjin (Michizane) and visitors. Given its three-year existence, it features a design that gives the impression of a floating forest.
Inspired by the legend of the flying plum tree, which tells of a plum tree that loved Michizane flying to Dazaifu overnight, architect Sousuke Fujimoto designed the temporary shrine. The concept was that “the rich nature surrounding Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine takes flight before the main sanctuary, and a forest appears on the roof.”
On the roof, plants have been planted, including plum trees grown within the precincts of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine and plants from surrounding areas in Kyushu. Once the temporary shrine has served its purpose, transplanted to the forest on the grounds of the temple.
Furthermore, the design of the “mitobari” (curtain) and “kicho” (screen) of the temporary shrine was handled by the collection brand “Mame Kurogouchi”, created by designer Maiko Kurogouchi. The fabric used was produced by the designer, known for her designs that utilize Japanese techniques such as three-dimensional embroidery and dyeing, using plums and camphor trees for dyeing, and merging ancient and modern techniques.
Not only the temporary shrine, but also the precincts of Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, are filled with works of art ranging from historical cultural treasures to works of contemporary artists currently attracting attention. Art and design are woven into every aspect of daily life at Tenmangu Shrine, including rituals and events.
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, which has been revered as the god of learning and culture and art since ancient times, has been visited by many literati and artists who offer their cutting-edge works. The shrine also hosts a “Dazaifu Tenmangu Art Program”, where artists conduct research and create works while staying in Dazaifu. It is worth visiting as a site for promoting culture and art and as one of the top art spots in Japan.
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine:
– Opens at 6:00 (from the Spring Equinox), 6:30 (from the Autumn Equinox)
– Closes at 19:00 (April-May, September-November), 19:30 (June-August), 18:30 (December-March)
– Located at 4-7-1 Saifu, Dazaifu City, Fukuoka Prefecture
This shrine, the head shrine of all Tenmangu Shrines across the country, was built on top of the grave of Sugawara no Michizane, with the aim of eternally enshrining his spirit. As a shrine of “learning, culture and art, and sincerity,” it attracts about 10 million visitors annually.