Seimei Shrine, Connected to the Onmyoji Abe no Seimei
Seimei Shrine earned its reputation as a shrine to a deity who protects against fires after the town escaped destruction during the Sieges of Kanegasaki in 1337 and 1570, as well as many other fires over the years. This shrine was named after Abe no Seimei, a great master of Onmyodo (the study of yin and yang), who had studied under Kamo no Tadayuki and his son Kamo no Yasunori. According to legend, the Kinenseki prayer stone enshrined in the front haiden shrine was used in the study of Onmyodo.
About Abe no Seimei
An Onmyoji (a leading specialist of Onmyodo) of the middle of the Heian era (794–1185), and a man of mystery. After mastering astronomy, he served under three emperors, predicting fortunes. His mother was said to be not human, but a fox, and he was said to be able to see oni ogres from a very early age. He was said to manipulate an oni known as “Shikigami,” according toa number of records of stories of the era.
The Mysterious Hexagonal Kinenseki Prayer Stone
Seimei Shrine is home to the mysterious Kinenseki prayer stone used by Abe no Seimei in his fortune-telling; today, it is enshrined under the floor of the altar, as a sacred object of worship believed to house a deity’s spirit. How this stone was used remains a mystery, but it is said to have been the seat of Abe no Seimei’s spiritual power. The Kinenseki prayer stone is kept below the altar. A small window allows visitors to peek under the floor to see it; it is said that if one throws a coin in and it lands on top, their wishes will be heard, but that the stone itself will also occasionally “reject” a coin thrown on it.
- Traffic access
- By car: Approx. 10 min. from Tsuruga IC on the Hokuriku Expressway
- By bus: Take the Tsuruga Excursion Line Bus (Tourism Route) from JR Tsuruga Station to Hakubutsukan Street Bus Stop (approx. 5 min.)
- New Address:
- 8 Aioi-cho, Tsuruga City, Fukui Prefecture
- Free parking available (along Aioi-dori street)
- Ordinarily kept closed and locked, but viewings of the Kinenseki prayer stone and other relics can be arranged by reservation a few days in advance.