The Shinto shrine “Sumiyoshi Taisha” was founded in the year 211, being one of the oldest shrines in all of Japan. It is dedicated to Sumiyoshi sanjin, a trio of sea gods, who protect the country, provide safety on sea voyages, and inspiration for poets. It is also dedicated to Empress Jingu, who returned safely from a trip to Korea and was subsequently instructed by an oracle of the great goddess Amaterasu that she should build a sacred precinct in honor of Sumiyoshi Sanjin. After a while, Empress Jingu was also enshrined in this shrine.
Sumiyoshi Taisha is the head of a network of more than 2000 Sumiyoshi shrines scattered throughout the country. Reason why until 1945, it was in the first rank of sanctuaries financed by the government of Japan. It is the most beautiful and important in Osaka, and without a doubt, one of the most beautiful in the entire country.
It has a spectacular bridge called “Sorihashi” (also called a “Taiko” bridge). It is said that a person when crossing it purifies himself spiritually, leaving all the bad energies outside before entering the sanctuary. After doing the purification ritual in the water source, we proceed to enter the sacred place.
Within the spaces there are four naves, three of them facing west. In each one a God is consecrated.
The shrine was built before Buddhism entered Japan. Its architecture is based on a model called “Sumiyoshi-zukuri” and it is considered a National Treasure. Sumiyoshi Taisha was erected in a 100% Japanese style, without foreign influence, therefore differences can be noticed between it and the vast majority of Shinto shrines.
Behind the main shrines, but within them, is the small “Nankun-Sha” shrine. Giant trees over 1000 years old, found here, are revered as gods. This is a place of worship to nature, where you pray for success in business, for the power to attract people. It is visited by travelers from all over Japan. It is a sample of how it was the beginning of the Shinto religion, centered on the belief that everything in nature has a God and therefore is sacred.
At the beginning of each year, more than 2 million worshipers visit Sumiyoshi Taisha Shrine to pray for health and prosperity in the coming year. Surrounded by natural beauty, its grounds overflow with spiritual points that offer a deep sense of history.
Sumiyoshi Taisha is a very important visit in Osaka.