Namba Shrine, Osaka

Namba Shrine, Osaka

The popular Bankaru style of Puppet Theater was born in this shrine located in the Chuo ku area of Osaka City. The shrine hosts many important festivals through the year.

The Namba Shrine was built by the Emperor Hanzei in honor of his father the Emperor Nintoku. It stood near the site of the present Osaka Castle but was moved to its present location after Hideyoshi Toyotomi decided to build the castle on the site. The cult of Inari flourished in the city at the time and established a smaller shrine within the complex that became more popular than the main shrine. They also established the Inari Shrine Bunraku-za, the first theater where Bunraku puppet shows were held. In 1871, the Inari shrine and the theater were moved to Nishi-ku in Osaka City.

Today, the Namba shrine hosts the Ball of Cord festival in February where worshippers are given a five colored ball of string to pray for good health. The crest of the shrine is the iris and iris flowers are planted in the gardens of the shrine. An Iris festival is held in June when a ritual dance is performed. Crushed ice is given to worshippers during the Himoru festival held in summer and visitors can also view a traditional drum beating performance. A monument to the former Bunraku Theater is located outside the shrine.

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Namba Shrine on Map

Sight Name: Namba Shrine
Sight Location: Osaka, Japan (See walking tours in Osaka)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Osaka, Japan

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