Shunkozan Engakuji Temple
This temple is said to have been built by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, a military commander of the Heian period.
Its principal object of worship is an eleven-faced Kannon.
Magegaku and funa ema, which are designated as national important cultural properties, are on permanent display.
Among these, the kitamaebune funa ema is said to be the oldest in Japan (dedicated to the temple in 1633).
The “mage” in “magegaku” refers to “chonmage,” which was a male hairstyle seen during the Edo period.
Hair from the forehead to the top of the head, known as “sakayaki,” was shaved, and the remaining hair was tied up.
It is said that in the past, when sailors encountered a storm, they would cut off their chonmage and pray for the divine protection of the gods and the Buddha in the hope of surviving alive.
These cut off chonmage were attached to magegaku and offered to the temple in thanks for safe return from sea.
Funa ema are painted wooden boards dedicated to temples to pray for safe voyages and bountiful catches.