A place of the highest sanctity honoring Emperor Godaigo
Who accomplished the great deed of Kenmu Restoration
Sitting on the northeastern base of Mt. Yoshino, Nara, Yoshino Jingu is a new shrine constructed in 1899 following the strong will of Emperor Meiji. The shrine is dedicated to Emperor Godaigo who accomplished the great deed of Kenmu Restoration. His seven advisors of merit are enshrined in an affiliated shrine named Sessha near the front shrine.
Emperor Godaigo became emperor in 1318 when he was 31 years old. At that time warriors led by the Kamakura Shogunate are ruling the country while the authority of the imperial court had hit the lowest point. The emperor planned to overthrow the Shogunate, brought down the Kamakura Shogunate in 1333 and brought back the emperor-centered government. This is called Kenmu Restoration. However, the restoration collapsed in as short as two years and Emperor Godaigo later passed away in Yoshino. Emperor Meiji built the shrine in Yoshino thinking about the achievement of Emperor Godaigo.
The current shrine is a reconstruction in 1932. The magnificent all-cypress building is in a beautiful harmony with the surrounding nature and gives us a sense of dignified purity. The shrine is built facing the north, the direction of Kyoto, because Emperor Godaigo must have thought of Kyoto where he could not return to his last moment.
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