echigonagaoka> Sado Island> Daizen Shrine

TAP the MAP and show it to people. They will tell you how to get to this spot.
map of Daizen Shrine

Daizen Shrine

How to get

Get off the #2 bus (Minami-sen) at Takedabashi Bus Stop. There is a T-intersection between Ryotsu-bound and Mano-bound bus stops of "Takeda Bashi". Turn that corner towards Ko-sado Mountain side. Walking on uphill slope for 4 minutes takes you to the back entrance of Daizen-shrine. Or get off the bus at "Danpujyo-mae", and walk on a concrete road starting from the national highway 350.

Photo.37.1 Daizen Shrine

Annual festival is on April 18, prayer festival is in March 18, and Harvest festival is on November 181). It is said that the shrine's establishment was in 905, but it is uncertain2). Daizen Shrine enshrines Miketsu-Taijin in the center, Mr.Hino Suketomo on the left, and Daizembo on the right3). As written in the page of Myosen Temple, Mr. Hino Suketomo was beheaded on June 2nd in 1332. Here is a story of his 13-year old son who took revenge.

Mr. Hino Suketomo was kept in custody under Homma Yamashiro Nyudo. You may see family name Homma so many times in Sado. Homma was Samurai family originally in Sagami County, then Kanagawa. Homma was dispatched to the island for police affair to make the island under the control of Kamakura Samurai government. Homma families from then on had become the lords of manor in many places in Sado4). The central police affair office was later called Dampujo that still appears as the name of bus stop. The Homma Yamashiro Nyudo’s compound is thought to have been on the hill that is north of the Dampujo-mae bus stop5).

Detainment lasted seven years. Near the end, Mr. Hino's family in Kyoto heard of a bad news that his execution was likely. His thirteen years old son Kumawakamaru wanted to see him. Young Kumawaka and one retainer left Kyoto for Sado. They probably got to Sado at the end of May, 1332. That was just several days before the execution. Kumawaka asked to let him see his father at the gate of Homma Yamashiro’s compound. The following story is obviously an embellished, but anyway; since the young boy had come from far away Kyoto to see his father for the last chance, Homma Yamashiro in fact wanted to allow Kumawaka to see his father. However, if he allowed it, it would shake Mr. Hino’s mind. Mr. Hino should have been preparing for his death. Homma Yamashiro thought, even if he would get blamed, he should be so cold-hearted that he would not allow the father and the son to meet6). Probably the reality was that Homma Yamashoro simply worried the top guy of Kamakura Samurai Government, Hojo Takatoki7).

Around noon on June 4th, the young Kumawaka was allowed to see his father. But what he saw was already cremated his father's remain in white wooden box. Not understanding Homma's consideration, Kumawaka decided to revenge. He let his retainer go back Kyoto with his father’s remains. He himself hid in the daytime and looked for where Homma Yamashiro was in the night. One night he went into the bedroom that was thought to be Yamashiro's. It was not. However, the sleeping guy there was Yamashiro’s younger brother Homma Saburo who was said to have beheaded Mr. Hino. Kumawaka took Saburo's sword and killed him. Kumawaka ran away from the scene, went over the wall by swinging of Bamboo, ran to the port, and got out of the island by boat. It was almost a perfect revenge. Kumawaka later changed his name Kunimitsu and fought at many war fronts8).

Could a thirteen year old boy do this alone? It was no wonder to think someone had helped him. Homma Yamashiro thought that 'someone' was the shrine priest Ken'ei "Daizembo". Homma beheaded Daizembo, exposed the head to the public. However, after that, mysterious things often happened around Homma's place. Homma Yamashiro became fearful about the vindictive spirit of Daizembo. So he enshrined Mr. Hino Suketomo and Daizembo in Daizen Shrine and gave residence and farm land to children of Daizembo9).

You will not find anything that could tell you these tragic things happened in 14th century. Probably you will be interested in not the shrine but the Noh stage there (Photo.37.2). The stage was rebuilt in 1846 and is designated as a Cultural property of the Prefecture. Noh performance is played in every April10).

Photo.37.2 Noh Stage of Daizen Shrine