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Mother in Battle, Spirit of the House of Sparrows || Kameoka Hachiman okami


|| Come on, just a little farther! You can do it! ||

In the late 12th century, after the Genpei Wars, a family of samurai moved to what's now Fukushima Prefecture and took the name Date from the county where their new home was located. The Date family built a shrine to the triune kami Hachiman. After the apparition of a spirit tortoise, the shrine was named Kameoka (Tortoise Hill) Hachiman-gu, and for most of its history to the present, retains that name. Once located at Takako in Date County, the shrine is now at Kawauchi, in Sendai, Miyagi. This enshrinement of Hachiman has purview over sovereignty, battle and victory, and motherhood & childrearing.

The Date family, when riding into battle, bore the unitary name of this deity inscribed on one of their banners: "Kameoka Hachiman okami."

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