Kameido Tenjin Cure?May 5th, 2009 | By Shane Sakata | Category: Photo Gallery, Temples & Shrines, Tokyo and Vicinity
A trip to the Kameido Wisteria Festival found all of the usual attractions of a matsuri (festival) in Japan; abundant food stalls, good weather and plenty of people but Mother Nature had other ideas when it came to cooperating with the wisteria blooms. Only a few of the wisteria vines were blooming and I would guess that they will be at their peak near the end of the festival on May 6th.
My husband and I spent a lovely hour or so wandering around paths within the precincts of Kameido Tenjin without too much distraction but were a bit surprised to find a bronze bull with a donation box in front and many people pausing to toss in a coin and rub the bull like the older gentleman pictured on the left.
The patina of the aged bronze gave the statue a rustic and aged aura but it was apparent from the shiny areas that rubbing his head, and other body parts, especially his joints, was a common occurrence.
Worshipers of Tenjin, a branch of Shintoism, believe that rubbing the bull will provide relief from ailments such as rheumatism which ties into the mythical symbolism of strength, tenacity, virility, and power that has been associated with the bull since ancient times.
There are approximately 80,000 Shinto shrines in Japan, 11,000 of which are Tenjin or Tenmangu. Main Tenjin temples in Japan include:
Kameido Tenjin in Tokyo is a small Tenjin temple but worthy of a visit when the wisteria blooms or to see one of few remaining drum bridges in Tokyo.