Kanko Historical Museum

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Visit date - 08/07/2021
Edit date - 08/16/2021

The Kanko Historical Museum is located in the precincts of the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.
The Kanko Historical Museum explains the life of Sugawara no Michizane, who is enshrined at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine, using Hakata dolls as dioramas.
There are also dolls and toys related to Sugawara no Michizane on display.

The exhibition room of the Kanko Historical Museum is in the basement.
If you go down the stairs from the entrance of the Kanko Historical Museum, you will see a display of Tenjin-sama dolls from all over Japan.

Sugawara no Michizane is also known as Tenjin-sama.
It is said that praying to Tenjin-sama is expected to improve one's academic performance.
For this reason, students in particular look forward to the benefits of Tenjin-sama.
This led to the production of Tenjin-sama dolls and toys all over Japan.
All over Japan, families with children placed Tenjin-sama dolls and toys in their homes, hoping to improve their children's academic performance.

When Tenjin-sama is expressed in a three-dimensional object, a cow is sometimes used.
There are many reasons for this, one of which I will explain later.

This is a view of the exhibition room.

Sugawara no Michizane is said to have been born in Nara Prefecture in 845 as the third son of Sugawara no Koreyoshi.
Sugawara no Koreyoshi was wise from an early age, and as an adult, Sugawara no Koreyoshi became a scholar at the imperial court, teaching poetry and history.
Sugawara no Michizane, like his father, was wise from an early age and composed poetry at the age of five.

Sugawara no Michizane's mother is not known by name.
However, it is said that she is from the Han family.
Sugawara no Michizane's mother prayed daily to Kannon for Sugawara no Michizane to grow up healthy and wise.

When Sugawara no Michizane was 23 years old, he became a special student in the study of history. Sugawara no Michizane has decided to live as a politician. At the age of 26, he was promoted to the rank of "Shorokui".
Sugawara no Michizane was also a skilled archer, and at the age of 26, he demonstrated his skills at an archery tournament, where onlookers were impressed by his skills.

At the age of 33, Sugawara no Michizane became a professor of history.

At the age of 39, Sugawara no Michizane played a major role in entertaining a delegation from the Balhae nation.
From this time on, more and more politicians became jealous of the achievements of Sugawara no Michizane.

At the age of 42, Sugawara no Michizane became a local government official called "Sanukinokami", and was appointed to the present Kagawa Prefecture, where he conducted a wonderful political career.

During the period when Sugawara no Michizane was posted to Kagawa Prefecture, there was a political dispute at the Imperial Court in Kyoto.
The Emperor Uda was involved in this political conflict, and Sugawara no Michizane made efforts to resolve it. This made Sugawara no Michizane a favorite of Emperor Uda. Since then, Sugawara no Michizane has often accompanied the Emperor Uda.

Emperor Uda has handed over the Emperor's throne to Emperor Daigo.
Emperor Uda had advised Emperor Daigo to trust Sugawara no Michizane.
For this reason, Emperor Daigo gave Sugawara no Michizane only important jobs.

Sugawara no Michizane wrote a wonderful poem when he was 56 years old.
Emperor Daigo was so impressed with the poem that he presented Sugawara no Michizane with a kimono as a reward.

When Sugawara no Michizane was 55 years old, he was promoted to the position of "Udaijin".
At the same time, Fujiwara no Tokihira was promoted to "Sadaijin".
However, those who are jealous of Sugawara no Michizane's many achievements, including the Emperor's trust and his speedy rise to power, want to bring him down.
Fujiwara no Tokihira gave false information to Emperor Daigo that "Sugawara no Michizane is trying to stage a coup d'etat.
Emperor Daigo lost confidence in Sugawara no Michizane and decided to have Sugawara no Michizane moved to Dazaifu (Fukuoka).

Sugawara no Michizane was moved to Dazaifu when he was 55 years old.
When Sugawara no Michizane parted from his family, he also wrote a farewell poem to a plum tree that he cherished.
It is said that this plum tree followed Sugawara no Michizane and flew to Dazaifu.
We call this plum tree "Tobi Ume".
Thus, Sugawara no Michizane left the capital with his son Kumamaro and daughter Benihime.

Knowing that Sugawara no Michizane was leaving the capital under false accusations, the people sent him off with sympathy and sorrow.

Sugawara no Michizane met his aunt in Osaka on his way to Dazaifu.

Sugawara no Michizane and his party arrived in Hakata.
The fishermen of Hakata made cushions out of rope for the Sugawara no Michizane to rest on.

After arriving in Dazaifu, Sugawara no Michizane and his group were assigned to live in the government building (now Enoki Shrine).
The building was in a state of disrepair and leaking due to lack of maintenance.
Sugawara no Michizane was under house arrest there and was not allowed to work at the Dazaifu government office or receive any salary.
An old woman named Jhomyoni, who lived in the neighborhood of this government building, took pity on Sugawara no Michizane's inconvenient life and took care of him.
One day, Jhomyoni found out that Sugawara no Michizane liked plum blossoms.
So Jhomyoni presented Sugawara no Michizane with a "rice cake with plum blossoms", which made Sugawara no Michizane very happy.
The "rice cake with plum blossoms" is said to be the current Umegae Mochi.

On September 1, 901 A.D., Sugawara no Michizane, unable to endure the hardships of house arrest, looked at a kimono given to him by Emperor Daigo and remembered the days when Sugawara no Michizane had led a happy life in the capital.

Related spots
Remains of Dazaifu Government Office

Tenpai mountain is located near the government building where Sugawara no Michizane lives.
Sugawara no Michizane often climbed Tenpai Mountain to pray.
The prayer seemed to be an appeal for the innocence of Sugawara no Michizane himself, the safety of the nation, and the safety of the emperor's family.

Related spots
Mt.Tenpai Historical and Natural Park

Kumamaro, son of Sugawara no Michizane, dies of exhaustion from his journey from the capital.
Later, Sugawara no Michizane became ill due to living in a bad environment.
While Sugawara no Michizane was recovering from an illness, his wife, who lived in Kyoto, died.
And Sugawara no Michizane died of a worsening disease. He was 59 years old.
The later life of Benihime, daughter of Sugawara no Michizane, is not exactly known.
It was decided that the corpse of Sugawara no Michizane would be taken by ox cart to Anrakuji Temple.
However, the ox cart carrying the corpse of Sugawara no Michizane stopped moving before it reached Anrakuji Temple.
I interpreted this as a message from Sugawara no Michizane asking me to bury him here, so I buried him there.
The present Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was built on the tomb of Sugawara no Michizane.
It is said that the cow figurine in the shrine originated from this episode and also from the fact that the year Sugawara no Michizane was born and the year he died were the year of the cow.

Related spots
Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine







Hiroshima/Shimane/NAGANUMA KENKAI










Hakata doll Sugawara no Michizane.

A diorama that recreates the Dazaifu of the Heian period.

The following are service photos.


Kanko Historical Museum
4-7-1 Saifu,Dazaifu-shi,Fukuoka-ken
818-0117 Japan

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