Otaku USA Magazine
Okayama Shrine Attracts Fans of Tenchi Muyo!

You’ve heard, no doubt, of otaku pilgrimages, where dedicated fans of a manga or anime series seek out locations as a setting in that work. One of the most popular locations these days is Chichibu, the setting for anohana and Anthem of the Heart.

But the Asahi Shinbun reports on a shrine in Okayama, between Hiroshima and Osaka, that’s been attracting fans from a slightly more retro series for over 20 years.

Asaguchi, Okayama is home to a shrine called Tarojinja, which served as the basis for the shrine in none other than 1992’s straight-to-video Tenchi Muyo! and its various sequels.

Main character Tenchi Masaki lives on the shrine grounds with his grandfather, a Shinto priest, and is seen in several scenes throughout the series sweeping the shrine grounds with a broom.

Tenchi fans are invited to do so too at Tarojinja, which has reportedly been welcoming Tenchi pilgrimages since about 1994. Priests at the shrine have set up other Tenchi-related items like a Tenchi box, which contains a plush version of the series’ cat/rabbit thinger Ryo-Ohki.

Fans have reportedly helped out at the shrine, donating money for renovations.

Next time you’re in west Japan, it may be worth a side trip to Asaguchi.

Source: Asahi Shinbun

Matt Schley

Matt Schley (rhymes with "guy") lives in Tokyo, and has been OUSA's "man in Japan" since 2012. He's also written about anime and Japanese film for the Japan Times, Screen Daily and more.