first posted September 7
Yushima Tenjin is the shrine that honors Sugawara Michizane, known as a god of learning.
Michizane (845～903) was a great scholor, and also a great politician in Heian Period.
But framed by his political enemy, he was demoted and transferred to Dazaifu in Fukuoka, Kyushu in 901, where he died in despair.
After his death, a lot of disasters occured in Kyoto, and people believed that it was Michizane's curse.
So, in order to ease his soul, they dedicated shrines to him and called them Tenjin-sama.
This is the picture of Michizane painted on ema.
(Ema is a wooden tablet with a picture on one side. You write your wish on the other side and dedicate it to a shrine.)
Because Michizane is a god of learning, a lot of students studying for entrance exams come and pray at Yushima Tenjin.
Look at all those emas dedicated by those students.
I hope their wish will be all granted.
This is the main shrine.
Yushima Tenjin is on the hill.
There are two ways to go up to the shrine from the east side.
gentle steps called "woman's steps"
steep steps called "man's steps"
Let's look at Hiroshige's picture again.
Some people are coming up the "woman's steps."
And behind that, you see many houses and the big pond of Shinobazuno-ike in Ueno.
On the left, stands Torii, the gate to the main shrine.
On the right, you can see the tip of "man's steps."