Temples and Shrines in Yanagawa

Associated with the Tachibana Family, the lords of the Yanagawa domain

By Tachibana Museum

Torii archway to Mihashira ShrineTachibana Museum


Mihashira Shrine

Mihashira Shrine was founded in 1826 in Yanagawa in the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture. ‘Mihashira’ means ‘three pillars’ because it enshrines three significant people in Yanagawa: the first lord of the Yanagawa Domain, Tachibana Muneshige; his wife Ginchiyo; and the founder of the Tachibana family, Bekki Dōsetsu.
There are more than a hundred stoneworks within the precincts of the shrine. Some of the works are associated with the great men that Yanagawa has produced. 

Dorotsukudon floatTachibana Museum

Every year in autumn, the Onigie Festival is held at Mihashira Shrine. During the festival, a portable shrine is paraded through Yanagawa Town, led by floats called ‘Dorotsukudon.’ On the floats, orchestras make music using drums, flutes and other instruments. Performers wearing masks  lean out of the floats to dance with the musical accompaniment. This Dorotsukudon float is designated by Fukuoka Prefecture as an intangible folk cultural asset by Fukuoka Prefecture.

Mihashira ShrineTachibana Museum

On June 3, 2005, a fire broke out in Mihashira Shrine. The main building fortunately survived but other highly valued traditional buildings were lost. It requires substantial time and financial resources to restore them to their original condition. Because of that, the fundraising campaign for the reconstruction continues today.

Fukugon-ji TempleTachibana Museum


Fukugon-ji Temple

Fukugon-ji is the family temple of the Tachibana family serving to pray for the souls of the successive lords and their feudal retainers. The history of the Fukugon-ji starts from a temple named Baigaku-ji. The Baigaku-ji was founded to mourn for the founder of the Tachibana family, Bekki Dōsetsu.
In 1669, the 3rd lord converted the sect of the temple to the Obaku Sect, and changed its name to ‘Fukugon-ji.’ 

Ryosei-ji TempleTachibana Museum


Ryosei-ji Temple

After the first Lord Muneshige was defeated in the battle of Sekigahara and lost his territory; his wife, Ginchiyo, left Yanagawa and moved to Haraka Village (modern Kumamoto). Two years later, she died and was buried in the village.  In 1620, Muneshige regained the position of a feudal lord and returned to the Yanagawa. In the following year, he built a temple and named it ‘Ryosei’ which is Ginchiyo’s Buddhist name. On the 33rd anniversary of her death, she was disinterred from Haraka Village and reburied  at this temple.

Zuisho-in TempleTachibana Museum


Zuishō-in Temple

Zuishō-in temple was named by the first Lord Muneshige, after his second wife, Yachi’s Buddhist name.
Yachi was a daughter of the Yajima family which served the Tachibana family as chief retainers for generations.
In 1624, Yachi passed away in Edo (modern Tokyo). Her hair was sent to Zuishō-in Temple.
On the 33rd anniversary of her death, a memorial Buddhist pagoda was built in the precinct of the temple.

Tenso-ji TempleTachibana Museum


Tenso-ji Temple

By the order of the first Lord Muneshige, Tenso-ji Temple was founded in 1634 at the 55th anniversary of his father’s death, to mourn for his father, Takahashi Jōun, and his soldiers killed in the Battle of Iwaya Castle.
In the temple, a monument of Jōun and mortuary tablets inscribed with names of all the soldiers were enshrined.
The memorial service for them is still held every year in the temple.

Credits: Story

Tachibana Foundation

Created by Executive Committee of the 450th anniversary of Tachibana Muneshige’s birth “Discovery & Experience Project of Castle Town and Samurai Culture in Yanagawa”

Supported by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan in the fiscal 2020

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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