I, the 3rd generation storekeeper, love Kamakura very much and like learning about its history.  It would be my pleasure if overseas visitors are interested in Kamakura stories.

Zeniaraibenzaiten ugafuku jinja (Zeniarai benten) 銭洗弁財天宇賀福神社

  One of the ever popular Kamakura tourist spots is this shrine.  That is located in the middle of a steep up-hill street toward the Genjiyama Park.  Its official name is long but we call it Zeniarai-Benten in short.

  One day, Minamoto Yoritomo saw a revelation in a dream.  Following the dream, he searched for a spot of clean water, found it, then built a shrine there in the late 12th century. That is the origin of this Benten shrine.

  Later, people came to visit there beleiving that if they washed some money in the water and spent it instead of just saving, they would receive more money.

  It's interesting if the old Kamakura people thought the monetary theory before the Keynesians, isn't it?
  You could wash money in a cave at Zeniarai-Benten even now.  "ZENI ARAI" means "Money wash".

* Our 小判揚 (Deep fried Kamaboko) features Japanese old coin in honor of this shrine.

Onme-sama/Daigyoji Temple おんめさま/大巧寺

  Daigyoji is one of the oldest temples founded before the Kamakura Shogunate.  Minamoto Yoritomo could win a battle after he held a war-council at this temple.

  Later, in the 16th century, a local lore spread and Daigyoji became more popular as the temple where people visited to pray for the safe childbirth and came to be called "Onme sama".

  It was said that a lady who died of difficult delivery could rest in peace after a monk met her soul near this temple and chanted a sutra to her.   She came down to this world after a few days and promised him saying "I will give the safe delivery for ladies if you place a pagoda and keep praying for me."  Surely, he did it.

 This temple has a small stone-made container called "Pagoda of the birthing woman ghost".  We can see only its picture on Daigyoji's web site.




Myohonji Temple 妙本寺

  This is an old temple built in the times of the Kamakura successor races (13C).  Entering through the front gate, you would walk along the approach in the sunlight filtering through trees before reaching the main building.  Myohonji Temple stands in the relatively large precincts as a Kamakura temple and is very quiet and peaceful.  I would like Kamakura visitors to visit it.

  It is said that the monk who prayed for a lady ghost in the story of Onme-sama (Daigyoji Temple) met her soul on the way to Myohonji Temple.

http://www.myoho. (En)



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