The Abura Tenjin float features a small Shinto shrine dedicated to the 9th-century courtly scholar Sugawara Michizane. Inside the shrine is a statue of him that reportedly belonged to a noble family that lived in the float’s neighborhood in the Heian Period (794-1185). This suggests that this neighborhood’s residents have venerated Sugawara for about a thousand years. In addition to being a talented man of letters, Michizane was a virtuous and influential imperial advisor.
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