Three Great Shrines of Benzaiten

Last updated

The Three Great Shrines of Benzaiten (日本三大弁天) are a group of Japanese shrines dedicated to the worship of the goddess Benzaiten. During the Meiji Era's separation of Shinto and Buddhism the veneration of the Buddhist water-goddess Benzaiten was replaced by the veneration of the Munakata sanjojin, the three Shinto goddesses of the sea. The official veneration of Benzaiten was moved to separate Buddhist temples. They are traditionally enumerated as follows:

Related Research Articles

Amaterasu Shinto sun goddess

Amaterasu (天照), Amaterasu-ōmikami (天照大神/天照大御神/天照皇大神), or Ōhirume-no-muchi-no-kami (大日孁貴神) is the Shinto sun goddess. She is also seen as the goddess of the universe. As a major deity, she also appears in Japanese mythology, especially in the two earliest written records, the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki.

Benzaiten A Japanese Buddhist goddess who originated from the Hindu goddess Saraswati

Benzaiten is a Japanese Buddhist goddess who originated from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. Worship of Benzaiten arrived in Japan during the 6th through 8th centuries, mainly via the Chinese translations of the Sutra of Golden Light, which has a section devoted to her. She is also mentioned in the Lotus Sutra and often depicted holding a biwa, a traditional Japanese lute, just as Saraswati holds a veena. Benzaiten is a syncretic entity with both a Buddhist and a Shinto aspect. Benzaiten was worshiped as the personification of wisdom in the Tokugawa period.

Seven Lucky Gods Japanese deities believed to grant good fortune

In Japanese mythology, the Seven Lucky Gods or Seven Gods of Fortune are believed to grant good luck and are often represented in netsuke and in artworks. One of the seven (Jurōjin) is said to be based on an historical figure.

Inari Ōkami One of the principal kami of Shinto

Inari Ōkami is the Japanese kami of foxes, of fertility, rice, tea and sake, of agriculture and industry, of general prosperity and worldly success, and one of the principal kami of Shinto. In earlier Japan, Inari was also the patron of swordsmiths and merchants. Represented as male, female, or androgynous, Inari is sometimes seen as a collective of three or five individual kami. Inari appears to have been worshipped since the founding of a shrine at Inari Mountain in 711 AD, although some scholars believe that worship started in the late 5th century.

Shinto shrine Japanese shrine of the Shinto religion

A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house ("enshrine") one or more kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects, and not for worship. Although only one word ("shrine") is used in English, in Japanese, Shinto shrines may carry any one of many different, non-equivalent names like gongen, -gū, jinja, jingū, mori, myōjin, -sha, taisha, ubusuna, or yashiro.

Itsukushima island in Hiroshima, Japan

Itsukushima (厳島) is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima (宮島), which in Japanese means "Shrine Island". The island is one of Hayashi Gahō's Three Views of Japan specified in 1643. Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island was part of the former town of Miyajima before the 2005 merger with Hatsukaichi.

Tsurugaoka Hachimangū Shinto shrines in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Tsurugaoka Hachimangū (鶴岡八幡宮) is the most important Shinto shrine in the city of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The shrine is at the geographical and cultural center of the city of Kamakura, which has largely grown around it and its 1.8 km approach. It is the venue of many of its most important festivals, and hosts two museums.

Engaku-ji Zen Buddhist temple

Zuirokusan Engaku Kōshō Zenji (瑞鹿山円覚興聖禅寺), or Engaku-ji (円覚寺), is one of the most important Zen Buddhist temple complexes in Japan and is ranked second among Kamakura's Five Mountains. It is situated in the city of Kamakura, in Kanagawa prefecture to the south of Tokyo.

Japanese dragon serpentine creature in Japanese mythology

Japanese dragons are diverse legendary creatures in Japanese mythology and folklore. Japanese dragon myths amalgamate native legends with imported stories about dragons from China and Korea. The style of the dragon was heavily influenced by the Chinese dragon. Like these other East Asian dragons, most Japanese ones are water deities associated with rainfall and bodies of water, and are typically depicted as large, wingless, serpentine creatures with clawed feet. The modern Japanese language has numerous "dragon" words, including indigenous Tatsu from Old Japanese ta-tu, Sino-Japanese ryū or ryō 竜 from Chinese lóng 龍, nāga ナーガ from Sanskrit nāga, and doragon ドラゴン from English "dragon".


In Japanese a Benten-dō is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Benten or Benzaiten, goddess of wealth, happiness, wisdom and music. Many such temples exist all over Japan.

Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine Shinto shrine in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan

Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine, popularly known simply as Zeniarai Benten, is a Shinto shrine in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Kanagawa prefecture, Japan. In spite of its small size, it is the second most popular spot in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture after Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gū. Zeniarai Benzaiten is popular among tourists because the waters of a spring in its cave are said to be able to multiply the money washed in it. The object of worship is a syncretic kami which fuses a traditional spirit called Ugafukujin (宇賀福神) with the Buddhist goddess of Indian origin Sarasvati, known in Japanese as Benzaiten. The shrine is one of the minority in Japan which still shows the fusion of native religious beliefs and foreign Buddhism which was normal before the Meiji restoration. Zeniarai Benzaiten used to be an external massha of Ōgigayatsu's Yazaka Daijin (八坂大神), but became independent in 1970 under its present name.

Glossary of Shinto Wikipedia glossary

This is the glossary of Shinto, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk (*) are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary.

This is the glossary of Japanese Buddhism, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk (*) are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary.

Toyokawa Inari Buddhist temple in Toyokawa, Aichi, Japan

Toyokawa Inari (豊川稲荷) is the popular name for a Buddhist temple of the Sōtō sect located in the city of Toyokawa in eastern Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The temple’s true name is 妙厳寺, or full name is Enpukuzan Toyokawa-kaku, Myōgon-ji. Despite the torii gate at the entrance, and the popular identification of its main image of veneration with Inari Okami, the Shinto kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, industry and worldly success, the institution is a Buddhist temple and has no overt association with the Shinto religion.

Tridevi Hindu combining of three goddesses into one

The Tridevi is a concept in Hinduism joining a triad of eminent goddesses either as a feminine version of the Trimurti or as consorts of a masculine Trimurti, depending on the denomination. This triad is typically personified by the Hindu goddesses Saraswati, Lakshmi, and Parvati. In Shaktism, these triune goddesses are the manifestations of Mula-Prakriti or Devi.

Ichijō-ji Buddhist temple in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan

Hokkesan Ichijō-ji (法華山一乗寺) is a Buddhist temple of the Tendai sect in Kasai, Hyōgo, Japan.

The Hogon-ji Temple is located on the sacred Chikubu Island in Shiga Prefecture, Japan. It is part of a temple complex on the revered island. It is a Buddhist temple dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten. Also, it is said to have first been built in 724 CE under the order of Emperor Shōmu. The temple has been rebuilt a few times over the years, with a major rebuilding around 1602 CE by the Japanese court officials Toyotomi Hideyori and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The temple looks to be of Amida style architecture. The temple's gate is originally from the Toyokuni Shrine in Kyoto, but was moved to Chikubu Island during the renovations in 1602. The artwork on the temple's gate has features reminiscent of the Momoyama Period.


In Japan, a chinjusha is a Shinto shrine which enshrines a tutelary kami; that is, a patron spirit that protects a given area, village, building or a Buddhist temple. The Imperial Palace has its own tutelary shrine dedicated to the 21 guardian gods of Ise Shrine. Tutelary shrines are usually very small, but there is a range in size, and the great Hiyoshi Taisha for example is Enryaku-ji's tutelary shrine. The tutelary shrine of a temple or the complex the two together form are sometimes called a temple-shrine. If a tutelary shrine is called chinju-dō, it is the tutelary shrine of a Buddhist temple. Even in that case, however, the shrine retains its distinctive architecture.


Ryōhō-ji (了法寺) is a Buddhist temple affiliated with Nichiren-shū located in the city of Hachiōji in western Tōkyō, Japan. Its mountain name (‘’sangō’’) is 松栄山.