VIDEO| Power-spots near Yokota have deep tie with ancient Korea

Shoden-in Shorakuji Temple was built in 751 A.D. Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi, Stripes Japan
Shoden-in Shorakuji Temple was built in 751 A.D. Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi, Stripes Japan

VIDEO| Power-spots near Yokota have deep tie with ancient Korea

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

A short drive from Yokota Air Base will take you to a district in Saitama Prefecture with deep ties to ancient Korea.

Koma District in Hidaka City is home to several shrines known as power spots that offer visitors luck and good fortune.

Koma Jinja is a Shinto shrine dedicated to ancient Korean Komanokogi Jakko, who came over to Japan 1,300 years ago, and Shoden-in Shorakuji is a Buddhist temple where there is a tomb for Jakko.

The shrine and temple are both considered strong power spots that offer success in business. Four Japanese politicians who would become prime minister during their career, are said to have gained success after their visits to the shrine and worship of Komanokogi Jakko. 

According to the Koma Shrine, when the ancient Korean Kingdom Koguryo (around 100 B.C. – 668 A.D.) fought against allied forces of the Tang and Silla Kingdoms, Koguryo envoy Komanokogi Jakko was sent to Japan to ask for military support. The defeat and fall of the Koguro Kindgom in 668 meant Jakko could not return to Korea.

The Japanese government gave Jakko undeveloped land where Koma District stands today. Jakko and other Koreans stayed and developed the land. The shrine in Koma District was built posthumously to enshrine the soul of Jakko, respect his virtue and achievements.

Koma Shrine in Saitama Pref., Japan
Koma Jinja is a Shinto shrine dedicated to ancient Korean Komanokogi Jakko. Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi, Stripes Japan

Today, the shrine welcomes thousands of visitors seeking good luck. As you walk around, there are elements of Ancient Korea within the shrine grounds. You’ll find a pair of stone-carved Korean chansun poles, an amulet for warding off bad luck and evil at the entrance gate, and colorful traditional Korean clothes and paintings displayed in wooden shacks built in the shrine field. Another interesting fact is that all the priests of this shrine are relatives of Jakko and the current head priest is from the 60th generation in the line of Jakko’s descendants. 

koma shrine in Saitama Pref.
Stone-carved Korean chansun poles at Koma Jinja. Photo by Takahiro Takiguchi, Stripes Japan.

They say the space between a pair of stone “komainu” guardian dogs is the strongest power spot in the shrine. Make sure to pause and make a wish at this point before proceeding to the main shrine.

A five-minute walk from the shrine Shoden-in Shorakuji Temple, built in 751 A.D.

You’ll notice another pair of stone-carved Korean chansun poles at entrance to ward off evil, just like at the Koma Shrine. Pass through the wooden Kaminarimon Gate and up the long stone staircase to the large temple garden where Jakko’s tomb is.
Climb up to the gigantic main temple hall for a panoramic view of the district, the Okutama Mountains and Mt. Fuji in the distance.

Shoten in temple in Saitama
A Korean-style green octagonal pavilion at Shoden-in Shorakuji temple.

Check out the back garden where a Korean-style memorial tower, the tallest stone tower in the nation, stands. The tower was built to console the soles of Koreans who died in Japan. Here there is also a Korean-style green octagonal pavilion, statues of Jakko and other historical Korean greats, kings and scholars.

Koma District is only a 40-minute drive from Yokota Air Base. The area is rich in history and Korean architecture. It makes for interesting photos and a great day trip.

Koma Jinja (Shinto shrine)
Location: 833 Niibori, Hidaka City, Saitama Prefecture
URL: https://komajinja.or.jp/korean-html/
Tel: 042-989-1403

Shoden-in Shorakuji (Buddhist temple)
Location: 990-1 Niibori, Hidaka City, Saitama Prefecture
URL: https://shoudenin.jp/
Tel: 042-989-3425
 

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