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The Lion’s Head at Yasaka Shrine in Namba Will Take Care of Your Bad Luck!

The huge head of a Komainu (guarding animals of the shrine, either dogs/ lions most of the time) standing right in front of the gates to the shrine is believed to take care of all bad luck of the people who come and pray at the shrine.
Namba Yasaka Jinja 【難波八阪神社:なんばやさかじんじゃ】is a shrine located within ten minutes walk from both Namba station and JR Namba station, the downtown of Osaka.
  • You will see this lion’s head with its mouth wide open even before you enter the Torii gate of this shrine.

Let the lion eat up your bad luck.

It is believed that this lion’s head eats up the bad luck of those who come to pray.

The shrine is mainly known to bring good luck and long-lasting prosperity to families, farmers, and businesses.

They have three main festivals throughout the year. One in spring, one in summer and one in autumn.
The one in summer is the most famous festival in the area and it goes for two days. Every year, there are many mikoshis (portable shrines) and drums that strolls through the neighbour to wish good luck to everyone for another year.

In the evening of the first day, boats go out on the Dotonbori river as a pre-ceremonial event carrying the portable shrines on each one.

  • As far as the records go, this shrine was built back in the era of the 71st emperor of Japan which dates back to somewhere around 1060s.
  • In the Japanese Shintoism, there is a belief that people around a certain age have the worst luck of their lifetime. For men, it is generally 42 years old and for women, it is 33.
    People come to the shrine to ask for better luck especially around those ages, and that’s where the lion head comes in. The mouth is wide open to inhale any bad luck that you carry with you.
  • The lion has a scary face, but that’s to scare the bad spirits away and not to scare you.
    So if you’re feeling like you are having bad luck during your stay, maybe this lion can help you bring better luck to you.
    Wishing all the best for your stay in Japan.
    Chao!
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