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Multiply your money in the Zeniarai Sanctuary

By Frida Ramírez |

Visit the temple of Benzaiten in Kamakura and become a millionaire by taking part in the ritual to the goddess of fortune. We’ll tell you the steps to follow.

ZENIARAI BENZAITEN UGAFUKU SHRINE IN KAMAKURA, JAPAN.

Spring has come and, with it, a pink mantle of cherry tree flowers covers radiant Japan. Behind all those rosy buds, the goddess of wisdom, art, and good fortune awaits your arrival to her temple to bless and increase the money you bring to her waters. This time, DINKtravelers takes you to the Kanagawa Prefecture to put your adventurous spirit under the protection of Shinto, which, we promise, will guide you as you travel the world to keep benefitting you with its magic and kindness.

KAMAKURA SHOGUNATE

For you to get the most out of this incomparable experience, we want to share with you a glance at the history of medieval Japan, since it was there where the magic of its sanctuary delighted and pacified the shogun or military commander.

Let´s go back in time and travel to the twelfth century, when the military leaders in charge of maintaining control over the city´s boundaries in the name of the Imperial City took over almost all the functions of the local government in a legal manner and even in a more efficient way than the center´s decadent and weak court nobility that presided in that moment. Thus, while the Kamakura shogunate’s expansion significantly increased its power and established the military and administrative center at the east of the empire, an important change in Japanese history took place due to the ideals of military men who lived in the shogunate: the bushi.

WHO WERE THE BUSHI? 

In the face of the constant military threats which the Japanese boundaries suffered, either inside or outside their own provinces, and their continuous confrontation with death, the Kamakura shogunate developed a profound religious cult capable of cheering up the unhappiest souls. The period’s awakening of faith was a result of not only the ascension of a new class, but also of the continuous military threats.

Given this situation, and as a result of the mentioned problems, the diffusion of new beliefs, the profound infiltration of Buddhism in the shogunate´s territory and, above all, living in a bushi society whose ideals respected a strong moral code, the erudite men acted as counselors of the learned military administrators. What is more, the monasteries served as refugees for the fine arts, which noticeably improved both the standard of living and culture in the provinces of the Minamoto clan.

ZENIARAI BENZAITEN UGAFUKU SHRINE

After this historical tour, the moment of your arrival to the promised sanctuary has come. Now you will be able to further enjoy the meaning of this magnificent and natural religious space.

The Zeniarai Benzaiten Ugafuku Shrine was created around the year 1185 by Minamoto Yoritomo, the Emperor´s shōgun or supreme military commander. It is said that his wish to build the shrine arose from a dream in which a god appeared to tell him he must build a sanctuary with the purpose of bringing protection and good luck to its inhabitants. As a result of such an important divine request, Minamoto built the shrine and named it after Benzaiten, a goddess who was born out of the  syncretism of the Japanese-influenced Buddhist goddess, the traditional Shinto spirit Ugafuku or the spirit of white snakes, and the Indian Buddhist goddess Saraswati.

Such combination of the three goddesses is directly related with the bushi ideal, which, through a series of guides for a good moral and spiritual path, appealed to the spirituality of the two religions and its variations in order to obtain the purification and serenity which the people longed for. Thus, the three goddesses became one and, throughout time, apart from being the goddess of white snakes, symbol of purification, water and wisdom, it was added to the group of typical deities of the Japanese folklore. The magical lymph of her shrine’s surroundings brought good fortune to its visitors and increased their wealth.

ENTRANCE TO THE ZENIARAI SHRINE: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

Climb the small stairs; feel the fresh air and the touch of the breeze. There are just a few miles left. Do not be afraid when you find all the signage written in Japanese! A different language will not make you enjoy the tour any less if you have a good guide, and that is why DINKtravelers is here, to help you. For now, just enjoy the magnificent view.

We have arrived at the main entrance, so let´s walk through the illuminated tunnel until we find the delicate Torii. Notice the smell of wood that permeates the entire place. It smells like Japan here.

JAPANESE AMULETS

The store to your right will provide you with everything you want to know about the predictions of your future, as well as your good or bad luck written on little strips of paper called omikuji. Even though we recommend you to buy them because of their low cost, unfortunately we cannot assure you they will have a written translation into English or any other language. Buy it anyway; the good luck will go with you even if it is not in your language, and maybe later you can ask a local to help you translate it. But if uncertainty is not your thing, choose to buy an omamori (amulet). They are helpful for many specific needs and you can buy one in this store.

BENZAITEN, THE GODDESS OF GOOD FORTUNE

The most awaited moment of the tour has arrived. This shrine offers you the chance to multiply your wealth, but in order for this to happen, you will have to perform a ritual for which you need to buy a kit at the ticket office. First, light the incense stick you receive and place it on the censer. Do the same with the small candle and place it on the candle rack. Take the little basket and put as many bills and coins in it as you want. Head to the nearby cave at your left where you’ll find a natural pool. At the moment you rinse the money with the pool’s water, you’ll bless it so that it multiplies in the near future thanks to the virtues of the goddess Benzaiten.

Now that you have experienced the trip of fortune with your imagination, it is time for you to pack your suitcase and travel to enjoy the protection and wisdom that the goddess has as she anxiously waits for your arrival. We know that you love to enjoy the world as much as we do.