Thursday, October 2, 2014

Local Shrines in Arashima, Yasugi

After leaving Arashima Hachimangu I headed off around the hill towards a temple on the other side. Just a hundred meters from the Hachimangu I passed a small wayside shrine, a hokora. There are an untold number of such things everywhere in Japan, though they are usually not officially listed as shrines. There is no way of knowing the name of the kami enshrined unless a local person can be asked, and even then the kamis name may have been lost in time...

Another couple of minutes another shrine in the middle of the paddies. Obviously an agricultural shrine, and obviously well used as attested by the newish tori and the plentiful offerings, yet once again this is not marked on maps as an official shrine.

A little further around on the north side of the high ground another small shrine, though this time it is an "official" shrine with kami listed in the prefectures directory. It may be called Misaki Shrine, or Osaki Shrine, but there was no-one around to ask.

The three main kami enshrined here are Amaterasu, Susano, and Gonansanjo, a term I can find nothing about but which translates as " 5 male, 3 female" and suggests a collective identity for 8 kami. In the grounds are three small shrines to Okuninushi, Kotoshironushi, and Oyamagi.

1 comment:

  1. Could Gonansanjo refer to the 3 female deities created from Susano'o's sword and the 5 male deities created from Amaterasu's magatama beads when they stand on opposite sides of the river and create deities out of each other's possessions so that Susano'o can prove his sincere intentions in coming to visit Amaterasu?