The sprawling picturesque grounds of Sumiyoshi Taisha look plucked straight from a storybook. Also known as Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine, it’s one of the most famous in Osaka and the site of many of the nation’s most important religious rites and traditions.
Founded in the third century, the saga of the shrine stretches over a thousand years. It is steeped in history —it was mentioned in "Genji Monogatari" (The Tale of Genji), the world’s oldest novel.
A brief history of Sumiyoshi Taisha
Sumiyoshi Taisha is a Shinto shrine that embodies Japan’s ancient animistic religion. Three prominent Shinto deities are enshrined here, including the spirit of legendary Okinagatarashihime no Mikoto, known as Empress Jingu. The Sumiyoshi deities protect sailors and fishermen—though now landlocked, the shrine once faced the sea. There are over 2,000 Sumiyoshi shrines scattered across Japan, but Sumiyoshi Taisha is the most important, acting as the headquarters of the seafaring Sumiyoshi tradition.
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