Turning right at the intersection of Tenjinyama on Fuji Panorama Line (Japan National Route 139), you will find a red ToriiW gate on your left.
Entering the gate lies a steep long stone staircase surrounded by many tall old trees that is making the atmosphere more dark and mysterious, ending up in front of a small old shrine. This outlook and the name ‘Maou’, meaning ‘devil’, will give you a spine-chilling impression. There are several spooky legends about the shrine such as, one who cut the trees or took plants from the shrine would be cursed…..
But there is no need for you to worry!
The name of the shrine is ‘Maou (devil)’ derives from the sixth heaven of Buddhism, where ‘Maou’ distracts believer praying faith to Buddha. Ignoring the disturbing ‘Maou’ and sticking and concentrating on faith and prayer for the believers’ goal were thought to forge stronger belief ties. ‘Maou’ is like an essential enemy to become strong in belief and a symbol of beating and purifying the sprit of evil thoughts.
So, this shrine is not an evil shrine but an ancient shrine whose god of the worship is Mt. Fuji, the war god and the god of the sword.
People believed that the god of sword could cut the wind and they worshiped as a god who protected the crops from the harm of the wind like typhoons.
You will be amazed if you see great many swords and three big trigeminal simulators placed behind the shrine. During war periods people came to pray for their luck and fortunes in the battlefield.
There used to be Maouen shrines all over Japan but in the beginning of Meiji eraW when there was anti-Buddhist movement because of the modernizing Japan campaign by the government, ‘Haibutsu KishakuW’, the shrines whose names were related to Buddhism were broken or at least the names were forced to be changed. This Maouten shrine is an exception, very rare to have remained as it used to be.
Address : 7585-2 Narusawa-mura, Minamitsuru-gun, Yamanashi Pref. Website : http://www.yamanashi-kankou.jp/kankou/spot/maou_ten-shi.html (Japanese only) E-mail : Not available