Japanese History: The Mythical Golden Kite part 2

Continuing about the Golden Kite, here is a Meiji-era (1868-1912) postcard featuring the Emperor Jimmu with the Golden Kite perched on his staff.

The rays shining outward from the kite reinforce the part of the story where the kite distracted and misled the Emperor’s enemies with his brilliancy. Here is a similar pose on an envelope from the 1930s:

We can see this image on a lacquered wood sake cup from 1934, sold at a shrine. Note that this cup is titled ‘Golden Kite Sake Cup’ on the box.

This cup is from the famous Kashihara Shrine (Kashihara Jinguu 橿原神宮) in Nara Prefecture, which was built on the site of Emperor Jimmu’s coronation ceremony. Of course, since Jimmu may have been fictional, this is the alleged site of his alleged coronation. This shrine was built in 1889, and achieved lasting fame when the Emperor Showa  (Hirohito) himself came to celebrate the 2600th National Foundation at the shrine. That was in 1940, and in that same year, over 10 million people flocked to the shrine that the Emperor visited. Since then, members of the Imperial family often visit.


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