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Usa-jingū (宇佐神宮), also known as Usa Hachiman-gū (宇佐八幡宮), is a Japanese Shinto shrine in the city of Usa in Ōita Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.[1]


The shrine was founded in the Wadō era (708-714).[2]

A Buddhist temple called Miroku-ji was built next to it in 779, making it what is believed to be the first shrine-temple (jingū-ji) ever.[3] The shrine-temple complex, called Usa Hachimangu-ji (宇佐八幡宮寺), lasted until 1868.

Usa first appears in the chronicles of Imperial history during the reign of Empress Shōtoku.[4]

Usa jingū was designated as the chief Shinto shrine (ichinomiya) for the old Buzen Province. It serves today as one of the ichinomiya of Oita and Fukuoka Prefectures. [5]

From 1871 through 1946, Usa was officially listed among the first rank of government supported shrines.[6]

Branch shrines

Usa is today the center of over 40,000 branch Hachiman shrines.[7] In Shinto belief, the many Hachiman shrines have extended the reach of the kami at Usa.[8]


  1. Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Usa Hachiman-gū" in Japan Encyclopedia, p. 1017.
  2. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Studies in Shinto and Shrines, p. 195.
  3. Shively, Donald H. (1993). Cambridge History of Japan, Vol. 2, pp. 524–530.
  4. Titsingh, Isaac. (1834). Annales des empereurs du japon, pp. 78-81; Brown, Delmer M. (1993). The Cambridge History of Japan, p. 411 n144 citing Ross Bender, "The Hachiman Cult and the Dōkyō Incident" in Monumenta Nipponica. 24 (Summer 1979): 124.
  5. "Nationwide List of Ichinomiya," p. 3.; retrieved 2011-08-09
  6. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 124-126; other similarly honored Hachiman shrines were Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu of Yawata in Kyoto Prefecture and Hakozaki-gū of Fukuoka in Fukuoka Prefecture
  7. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), Usa Jinju Shrine
  8. Hardacre, Helen. (1989). Shinto and the State, 1868-1988, p. 12.

Other websites


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