Sunday, July 18, 2010

Teono Shrine


Teono Shrine is situated atop a small hill, Honozan, between Izumo taisha and Inasa Beach. The 2 kami enshrined here are Taokihooi, a god of measuring, and Hikosashiri, a god of carpentry. They are considered to be the ancestors of 2 branches of the Imbe Clan, and in the Kogoshui version of the Iwato myth the 2 were charged with the construction of a "great palace" outside of the cave that Amaterasu was hiding in. Some consider this to be the first kagura den. Most likely this was the shrine for the builders of Izumo Taisha.


Behind the shrine is a sacred tree home to Shirohebi Daijin, I suspect the site of a visit by a white snake, considered particularly portentious.


Next to the shrine is a small park with an observation tower offering views over the surrounding country. The long beach is Nagahama, and according to the Kunibiki myth it is a rope that tethers this peninsular to Mount Sanbe, just visible in the distance.


Much of the land down below would have been water 100 years ago. Lake Shinji has been reduced by over one third and land reclaimed earlier in the twentieth Century. The Hi River once emptied into the sea here but now empties into what is left of lake Shinj. 10,000 years ago this peninsular was an island separated from the mainland.


Downtown Izumo City in the distance. The plastic greenhouses in the forground are for grapes for the Shimane Winery.


  1. This brings back great memories of my months living in Izumo. Thank you for this.

    By the way, when scanning the maps it seems that a great many shrines surrounding the Taisha are named "something arakami (koujin?)." I think that you featured one of these recently. Any reason for this?

  2. Aragami are a class of "rough" gods, though I prefer the translation "turbulent". They are nature gods that can be destructive. The most common one in the Izumo area is called Kojin and is represented as a rope snake. Some examples here...
    In my area the god is called Omoto. Some parts of japan classify Susano as an Aragami....