Hakatas patron gods and the Kushida-shrine
The Kushida-shrine is dedicated to Hakatas three patron gods with the center, left and right part dedicated to a different god. The middle part is dedicated to Oohatameshi-no-Mikoto, the right part to Amaterasu-Oomikami and the left part to Susanoo-no-Mikoto.
It is almost as old as Hakata and is often called O-Kushida-san by the local inhabitants, which is the Japanese equivalent of “Old Kushida”.
The shrine is believed to have been founded in 757, but it had to be rebuilt in 1587 on the order of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
During the Edo-period it was managed by the Tōchō-ji temple, but at the start of the Meji-period the two were forced apart by a decree separating shintoism and buddhism.
On the area of the former Jingo-ji temple the Kushida meeting hall was built, which is also used during the festivities.
There are several other shrines in Japan called Kushida-shrine, but they are all dedicated to the mythological figure Kushinada-hime. The Kushida-shrine is believed to originally also be dedicated to this figure, but has for centuries been dedicated to Hakatas patron gods.
Left: over 600 year old ginko tree near the Kushida-shrine, that is today a desiganted a natural monument
Right: celing paintings on the celing of the Kushida-shrines prayer hall
Kushida-shrine and the festival
During the Oiyama and the Oiyamanarashi the Kakiyama are first presented before the Kushida-shrine in the offering ceremony called “Kushida-iri”.
Left: The Kazariyama at the Kushida-shrine on display all year round
Right: The Hakata history museum
North of the Kushida-shrine there is a small sub-shrine at the beach, where some smaller rituals such as the ritual washing of the carrying poles each year take place.
Also many ceremonies and festivities not relatet to the Hakata-Gion-Yamakasa take place at the Kushida-shrine. For example the Dontaku port festival or the Hakata Matsubayashi music-parade.