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TENMANGU SHRINE
A Prefectural Cultural Treasure
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photo Tenmangu is a classic example of Early Modern Period (mid 16th to 18th centuries) "gongen" construction designed for the enshrinement of a Shinto deity.
Gables over the Inner Sanctuary and Hall of Offerings are resplendently finished in elaborate detail.
The artwork in the original shrine was created by Ekihiro Kano and when completed appeared as in his graphic design, The Hall of Offerings and the Oratory of Tenmangu" now exhibited in the Gunma Prefectural Museum.

The architectural plans forthe shrine were first drawn up in 1771 and construction began in 1778. Work proceeded through 1792, requiring the removal of enshrined deities until Spetember, 1799 when the structure was completed and rededicated.


The construction chief for the shrine was an artisan named Machida. Monjiro Sekiguchi carved the beams and other sculptures. There are seven wall carvings in the shrine. On the upper level there carvings are in the form of 24 proverbs depicted in relief, while on the lower level, Tang dynasty children can be seen playing in the wood carvings.

photoThe artwork found throughout the structure, even down to the most minute details, demonstrate that no effort was spared in constructing a shrine of great beauty and harmony. After completion, the shrine became known as "the shrine standing on a rock" because of its unique construction on boulders.

Tenmangu is representative of the most highly developed architectural techniques of its era and as such has been designated a Prefecture Treasure.
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