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The Tamukeyama Shrine (手向山八幡宮 Tamukeyama-hachimangu) was founded in the first year of the Tenpyōshōhō era (749-757), when the kami from Usa Hachimangu Shrine which is located at Oita prefecture/ Kyūshū was invited as the protector kami for the Great Buddha of the Tōdai-ji Temple. Back then, the shrine was called Tōdai-ji Hachimangu until the separation of Shinto from Buddhism after the Meiji Restoration (around 1868), when he was laterrenamed after mountain Tamukeyama located nearby. Its location changed several times, first from the southern part of the now unknown Nashiharanomiya to the eastern side of the Kagamiike pond (also Hachimanike pond), after which it was finally relocated to its present site by Hōiō Tokiyori in the second year of the Kenchō era (1250). The present location is also said to be the place of the former Senjuin temple of Tōdai-ji.
Tamukeyama has been famous for the beautiful red and yellow autumn leaves (momiji) since ancient times. In a poem that also appears in the anthology “One Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets”, Sugawara no Michizane (845-903), who became the kami of scholarship, praises the mountain as follows: “konotabi wa nusa mo toriaezu Tamukeyama momiji no nishiki kami no mani mani” (“At the present time, since no offering I could bring, see, Mount Tamuke! Here are brocades of red leaves, at the pleasure of the kami”). The stone he sat down writing the poem is now worshipped as the stone for academic achievement.