#12 a Part of people’s life – Suitengu Shrine (Kurume, Fukuoka)

#12 a Part of people’s life – Suitengu Shrine (Kurume, Fukuoka)

1 Intro

I’ve got a message during the work from sister and said ‘I might be pregnant again!’ So I decided to go to a famous shrine called ‘Suitengue Shrine (水天宮)’ in Fukuoka, took an hour train from the down town…and here we were.


2 Suitengu Shrine - 水天宮総本山

Suitengu Shrine is located in Kurume city, which is one hour away from down town in Fukuoka by train. Suitengu shrine itself is dotted all around Japan, but the one in Kurume is the headquarter of all Suitengu shrines. According to shinto priest here, Suitengu has been venerated as a guardian shrine for marine traffic.


3 Offer prayer - 参拝客

These days however, it is more known to all over Japan as a place to house the god of safe childbirth, and pregnancy. Therefore, there are thousands of people from all over Japan visit here to make wishes to the god.


4 Amulets - お守り

Most of the people who visit Suitengu shrine buy various kinds of amulets. According to the staffs who work here, the one for safe childbirth get more popular these days.


one wish, one word.

‘You see five words on the paper, take out one of them and put it into the glass of water, and drink it after you wish one thing,’ a female attendant said. It is a very curious amulet that I’ve ever seen. Just like a prescription you take when you get sick, you just have to swallow one word per one wish. Don’t think about the taste of paper.


5 Emma - 絵馬に願いを残して

An Interesting tradition is that people write there wishes on a small wooden board called ‘Emma (絵馬)’. It’s been said that if you write your wishes on the Emma and hang it on a particular space, your wish would come true. If you go to Shrines or temples, you would see a lots of ‘Emma’ with full of wishes.


6 Wishing the safe childbirth - 祈りを形に

”Wishing my wife can give birth a healthy child safely…”
When I read this, I felt that wishing a wife’s safe childbirth is the universal role of husbands all over the world. The feelings of worries and expectations to have the new child/children can only be experienced when you become aware of being a parent for the first time.


8 Little two boys.

‘oh! what is that?’ ‘Is it the cameraman? let’s see what he is taking of! ‘

I heard some voices of children when I was taking photos of shrine.
Haruki (right) and Taisei (left), they just turned to be 2 grade from this April.

‘What are you guys doing here?’ I asked.
‘We are just coming back from swimming club!’ Haruki nervously answered.
‘Do you know what kind of shrine is here?’
‘No!’ both laughed and said, ”we just pass here everyday!’



9 a plce to hangout

Just before leaving the shrine, I encountered a 66 year-old grandfather and his granddaughter age of 2.
‘we come here when we hang out.’ a grand father smiled and told me ‘We come here everyday after kindergarten. Now is my favorite time of all day.’
When I tried talk to the girl, she hold her grandfather’s hand tight and hided behind him. ‘She is very shy in front of the stranger, haha’. Surprisingly she came our when I took photos of them and showed me a smile, but her hand showed that she was still nervous at that moment.






After a little trip to Suitengu shrine, I noticed that Suitengu shrine is not only a spot for people from all over Japan coming here to pray, but it is a part of the life of people who live around here.



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