Yasui Konpiragu – The Unique Matchmaking Shrine in Japan
Temples are always places of spiritual significance, where people seek blessings and good fortune. Japan is renowned for its many temples across the country, each with its own beliefs, customs, and diverse religious practices.
Particularly, there are many temples in Japan dedicated to matchmaking, such as Tokyo Daijingu (Tokyo), Kada Myojin (Tokyo), Nishiki Tenmangu (Kyoto), and one that stands out for its peculiar charm–Yasui Konpiragu in the Higashiyama ward of Kyoto prefecture, established during the Asuka period (538-710).
Originally named Fujidera (The Temple of Wisteria), the shrine was a place where people prayed for prosperity and wealth for their families. It was not until after the Meiji Restoration that the Shrine got its current name of Yasui Konpiragu.
Apart from wishing for prosperity and wealth, the shrine is known for its unique ability to both facilitate and severe romantic ties. Why is that? This can be attributed to the shrine's long-standing traditions and sacredness passed down through generations, particularly the presence of a massive stone slab called Enkiri Enmusubi-ishi. The stone slab has a circular hole, believed by locals to be an invisible gateway that turns wishes into reality.
As a result, many people, especially female tourists, visit the shrine with the intention of seeking blessings for relationships, wealth, or even ending a romantic connection. Regardless of the reason, whether they have fallen out of love, are unhappy in their marriage, or for any other cause, they come here to seek the end of that relationship.
The process of seeking blessings or severing ties begins with a respectful ceremony in the shrine. Subsequently, individuals would write their wishes on a paper charm called Katashiro, pass the charm through the hole in the stone slab twice, and contemplate their desires. Once completed, they would affix the charm to the stone, resulting in the stone being covered with layers of charms.
The shrine has attracted many tourists throughout the years. In addition to those seeking to sever romantic ties, there are also observers who come solely to witness the rituals performed by others. Yasui Shrine is open every day of the week, allowing visitors to explore or make their own wishes at any time.
Photo: juju_ssks; 0001iina