Thursday, May 2, 2013

Noshiro Shrine


After leaving Oda the route of the Iwami 33 Kannon Pilgrimage heads along the Sanbe River towards Mount Sanbe. Just below Sanbe Dam is the small settlement of Noshiro with a small shrine.

I know these posts on obscure local shrines are not particularly popular, but a large part of the reason why I started this blog was to document the thousands of shrines I've visited, so..... As of this writing I have only managed to document 124, an index of which can be found here.


Noshiro has an interesting trio of kami enshrined, the main one being Izanagi, the male half of the pair that created the Japanese islands and its kami. Mythologically speaking Izanagi and Izanami are the most important of the kami, but in the seventh Century, and again in the twentieth Century, the government of Japan elevated the Imperial ancestor Amaterasu to the highest position.


The other 2 kami enshrined here are related to Izanagi, Hayatamano and Kotosakano, 2 kami that appear in the myth of Izanagis visit to see his dead wife Izanami in Yomi. At least that is the Izumo version, and as the myth of Yomi is set in Izumo I would tend towards that version rather than the "national" version that has Hayatamano as another name for Izanami. Part of my interest in visiting small local shrines is for the light they shed on the diversity that existed in Japan before the modern, homogenous, centrally imposed, "national" culture was created.


  1. Keep it up Ojisan; it is interesting.

    Incidentally I don't see Susa Jinja on your shrine list. That is one you must visit! I shall be staying in Susa from next week (my wife's home village).

  2. Hi david.... been to Susa Jinja several times, but like the thousands of other shrines Ive visited I havent got round to posting it yet :)

  3. "Obscure local shrine" posts are a huge draw for me, so do not get discouraged. (I doubt you will.) Every corner of Japan holds some interest for me, but I very much appreciate you taking your camera to the "unfamiliar" parts. And I firmly believe that the world would be a better place with more shrines of every sort, and with plenty of people to visit them and once again make them a part of everyday life.

  4. Another fan of your obscure local shrines, so please keep them up. These fascinated me when I lived in Izumo as repositories of local culture, which continues to dry up in so much of the countryside. Your blog is fantastic way of preserving these while sharing with the world at the same time.

  5. Hi Elisa and DCL.... thanks for your comments, and I agree with you both :)

  6. I dig these posts Jake. Keep 'em coming...