Anyone who has been following this blog a while will know I really love to visit temples and shrines. On a recent visit to Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, I came across a most unique temple; Mamakannon.
What’s unique about it?
I’m glad you asked. Mamakannon, or Mama Chichi Kannon, is Japan’s only temple dedicated to breastfeeding. It’s one of 33 Kannon temples of Owari, constructed in 1492 under the name Ryuon-ji. Legend states the temple was just your average place of worship until 1665, when a mother unable to lactate brought her baby to pray, subsequently, and miraculously, she started to lactate. Her devotion to the temple resulted in her producing plenty of milk, and rumor spread of the temple’s unusual trait. Mothers from all over come to pray for safe pregnancy and labour, and good lactation. Some women come to pray for ample or perky breasts too, apparently.
Close up of temple roof.
What’s it like to visit?
It;s actually surprisingly small. It sits behind a grand and unassuming gate, but as you enter you’re greeted with the first pair of breasts; a fountain that lactates water. Follow the small path round, and you’ll find other boob-related items, such as a small statue of a breastfeeding Kannon, an incense burner with a great rack, and a pair of bushes clipped to look like breasts, which I refer to lovingly as titty topiary. I visited about an hour before it closed, on a weekday, so it was very peaceful. I enjoyed strolling its small but neat grounds.
Breastfeeding Kannon statue.
The main temple building has a small walk way, filled with an array of breasts. Here, you can see more statues, incense burners, and a lot of breast themed artwork. You can also purchase lucky charms and the like here. I bought an Ema (Japanese wishing plaque found at all shrines and some temples across Japan), with a large pair of protruding breasts. It hangs proudly on a wall at home. You can also get omamori (lucky charms), as well as stickers and stationery here. Staff are kind and welcoming, and even offer a small pamphlet with a history of the temple, available in various languages.
Ema for sale.
Uniquely crafted titty Ema.
As mentioned, Mamakannon is in Komaki, a small town in Aichi Prefecture. It sits on a side street behind a Family Mart. Here’s a location to help you out.
Happy and safe travels,