This small shrine is located next to Shoman-in Aizen-do, which I visited recently for Aizen Matsuri. It is one of seven shrines built to guard Shitennoji by Prince Shotoku(572 – 622 AD). Instead of guardian dogs, this shrine has guardian tigers – who do you think that would perhaps attract?
If you guessed… Hanshin Tigers fans, good job!
Oe-Jinja has become a pilgrimage spot of sorts for fans of Osaka’s embattled baseball team, people come to pray for their success and leave offerings of team memorabilia, mostly the knocker thingys used at games to make noise or keep the beat during one of the songs.
One of the fences nearby is covered in photos, newspaper cuttings and messages of goodwill. Even that rope is the correct colour scheme!
This statue is designated as a “power spot” – these are places where earth’s energy can supposedly be collected, usually bringing luck or a specific kind of success(business, exams etc). Stand there with your hands open, palms facing the statue and collect that tiger power!
Die hard Hanshin Tigers fans are referred to as “Torakichi” which comes from the Japanese words “Tora” meaning Tiger and “Kichi” meaning maniac or enthusiast – you can probably imagine what that says about the nature of many Tigers fans, they’re arguably the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans in the league. I’m a Hanshin Tigers fan club member, maybe not quite at Torakichi level but I love hanging out with those guys when I go to Koshien 🙂