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Yasui Konpira-gu is a popular temple located in Kyoto which enshrines three deities, namely, Emperor Sutoku, Oomono-no-nushi, and Minamoto no Yorimasa. A unique and beautiful festival, Kushi Matsuri is held here; a festival which offers thanks to hair ornaments and combs which are a pivotal point of beauty in Japanese traditional women’s wear. Held annually on the fourth Monday of September, a procession of women will start from the Gion area, hair done in a wide variety of styles and wearing clothes of different periods spanning more than 1,300 years of history. Along with models sporting various periods’ hairstyles, real Maiko will join the parade. Amazingly, all these hairstyles are accomplished by that person’s natural hair! The Kushi Zuka (Comb Mound) in the precincts of the shrine was built to hold a memorial service for old combs. The “cuts bad bonds and ties good ones together” sales point of this temple comes from the main worshipped deity, Emperor Sutoku. From the time when Emperor Sutoku threw away all greed and secluded himself at Kotohira-gu, Sanuki (modern-day Kagawa Prefecture) after his defeat in the Hogen Rebellion (1156), Konpira-gu has gathered followers through its belief of “constraint”.Also, because Emperor Sutoku could not bid farewell to Karasuma-dono when he fell in battle, it is said that he will break all bad bonds which seek to disturb the relationship of a happy couple. As another belief of the temple, from ancient times, “Konpira-san” was said to be the god of safe sea travel, but because of the recent increase of danger in land travel as well, became the god of traffic safety in general.The history of this temple is old, beginning before the Nara Period when Fujiwara no Kamatari built the hall and planted wisteria trees in the precincts, declaring it as Fuji-dera (wisteria temple) to pray for the prosperity of the household and prosperity for his descendants.Later, because Daien Hoshi saw a ghost of Emperor Sutoku in Fuji-dera, a...