Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Sada Shrine


iz7565

Sada Shrine, located north of Matsue, was once the most important shrine in the Izumo region. Enshrined in the central honden are 5 kami, the main one being Sadano Okami, along with Izanagi and Izanami, and the pair Hayatamano and Kotosakano. Izanagi and Izanami are well known, and in Izumo, Hayatamano and Kotosakano, 2 kami associated with the "divorce" of Izanagi and Izanami are also fairly common. Little is known of the main kami though except he is known as the protector of the Shimane Peninsula. He was born in a nearby sea cave called kaganokukedo and some posts on that can be found here.

sada183

The right (north) honden enshrines the Imperial kami: Amaterasu, and her grandson Ninigi. The left honden enshrines Susano, and something called Hisetsu Yonchu, which I think means "hidden four poles", about which I can find no information.

iz7568

Sada Shrine is one of the many shrines where the mass kami of Japan arrive in November during kamiarizuki, though it is widely reported that they all go to Izumo Taisha.

sada185

Sada Shrine is also home to the UNESCO registered Sada Shin Noh. a form of Noh-influenced kagura that is believed to have influenced satokagura nationwide.

sada188

When I first explored this area many years ago I found it interesting to klearn that the earliest known yayoi site in Izumo was found in this valley indicating perhaps that this is where the proto-Japanese first settled in the region which would explain Sada shrines importance.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Takada Hachimangu


iw7782

Being a mask maker myself, one of the things I am always hoping to find in my explorations of shrines are masks, so I was absolutely delighted to discover these masks in Takada Hachimangu.

iw7767

Located in a small mountain settlement at the base of Mount Sanbe, the highest mountains in Iwami, the hachimangu is a fairly standard village shrine.

iw7768

About a hundred years ago the government closed down half the shrines in the country, so probably there were more shrines in this village that had their kami moved here, but there was no sign so I was unable to find out. As a Hachimangu it enshrines primarily Hachiman.

iw7773

Like many shrines in remote areas it was not locked so I was able to look inside.

iw7776

The masks were a revelation because they were in a style I am not familiar with. Though in Iwami they are not in Iwami kagura style. As I explored more shrines later in the day I found many more examples of this style.

iw7781

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Temple 27 Senko-ji


iz7561

The Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage is obviously still quite populkar judging by the number of Osamefuda left on thye doors of the Kannon-do.

iz7559

Actually the Kannon-do is named Chofuku-ji and the main hall next door is called Senko-ji, suggesting that the Kannon-do was a separate temple relocated to this site.

iz7560

It is a Soto Zen temple, and the main deity is a Thousand-Armed Kannon.

iz7558

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Torii Tunnels at Yutoku Inari


k4786

Virtual tunnels formed from multiple Torii, shinto gateways, are a feature of many Inari shrines.

k4771

Usually each Torii will be inscribed with the name of the donor who paid for it.

k4782

Usually made of wood and painted vermillion, there are some places where they are made of plastic.

k4777

The most well known and photographed of these torii tunnels is at the Fushima Inari Shrine near Kyoto, but all these photos were taken at Yutoku Inari Shrine in Saga Prefecture in Kyushu.

k4797

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hitsu Shrine


iz7539

Usually when I am walking a pilgrimage I have studied the maps and have a pretty good idea of what shrines I will be passing, but Hitsu Shrine was a surprise as it was not marked on the maps, though it most obviously is a shrine.

iz7543

The main kami is Futsunushi, a martial kami connected with swords. here in Izumo it is most strongly connected to the Mononobe Clan, though it was taken over by the Nakatomi-Fujiwara when they wiped out the Mononobe. In Izumo it was Futsunushi who arranged the handover of Japan to the Yamato in the Kuniyuzuri myth.

iz7544

Within the grounds was a Wakamiya Shrine, though it did not indicate which kami was enshrined in it, possibly hachiman. There was also a small Inari Shrine.

iz7545

Behind the main shrine was a Kojin altar with the rope serpent wrapped around a tree.

iz7548

Friday, March 20, 2015

Japanese Ducks


y70557

There are many species of ducks in Japan, but I believe these are Kamo, the common mallard.

They were and are eaten, and their arrival in the Autumn was used as a seasonal marker in poetry.

y70558

There has recently been a renewed interest in the use of domesticated ducks in rice agriculture. Traditionally they were used to control weeds and insects in the paddies as well as adding fertilizer.

y70552

All these were photographed in Chofu, Yamaguchi.

y70553

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Terutoko Shrine


iz7532

Terutoko Shrine is located in the middle of a small, low, wooded hill in the suburbs of Matsue northeast of the castle.

iz7534

It is listed in the Izumno Fudoki, meaning that it existed a millenia before Matsue and its castle were built. Then it was known as Arawahi-sha.

iz7535

Later it was known as Teratoko Shrine, and the kami was Teratoko Myojin.

iz7538

In the Meiji Period its name was changed from Teratoko to Terutoko, thereby removing the reference to temple in its name. The kami was renamed Amaterasu, a common occurrence during the creation of the new imperial-centered state religion. many kami were renamed to bring them under the umbrella of imperial lineage.

iz7537

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hachiman Shrine, Yuki


h1027

These two demon masks were located behind the main building of the Hachiman Shrine in Yuki, a fishing village on the south coast of Tokushima. The spot is named Oni no Koshikake, "Demons Seat".

h1024

Apparently several local people saw an  Oni sitting at this spot. Interestingly this is not a story from long ago, as it happened on September 15th, 2002.

h1025

Being a Hachiman Shrine, the main kami is Ojin, his mother, Jingu, and either his father Chuai, or his "wife" Himegami.

h1031

There was a small Ebisu shrine in the grounds, not surprising at it is a fishing village.

h1034

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Day 12 Matsue to Mount Asahi to Lake Shinji


iz7526

I had been hoping to walk this pilgrimage in 12 days but it looked like it would be 13. My route today would be northwest out of Matsue towards Sada Jinja.

iz7565

From there head west into the mountains to visit a couple of mountain temples. In all there will be 5 temples today, the most in one day for any day of the pilgrimage.

iz7592

From Mount Asahi it will be downhill to the shore of lake Shinji and then along the coast past the English Garden.

iz7597

Back through Shinji Onsen to Matsue.

iz7644

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sasaguri Taiso-gu Shrine


k1013

The large Torii along the road some distance before the shrine gives some indication of the importance of Taiso-gu locally.

k1020

A local tourist website says that Taiso Gongen arrived here from China in 724. Another source says that pre Meiji the shrines name was Jimmu Taiso Shrine. Now the main kami is listed as Izanagi.

k1022

There are another 6 kami listed here including Amaterasu, Hachiman, Sumiyoshi, & Hiyoshi, which suggest to me they were all later additions.

k1023

Like many shrines in Kyushu the grounds contained some huge Camphor trees. Taiso Shrine is well known for its Kagura, one of the few places in Fukuoka where it still exists.

k1025

Related Posts with Thumbnails