Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yama Shrine, Irinaka


Located just a couple of hundred meters from the Okazaki Shrine, but at the base of the hills on the opposite bank of the small river and therefore part of traditionally a different community, is the aptly name Yama (mountain) Shrine.


It was now late morning on the first day of my walk along the Chugoku Pilgrinage and after visiting the first temple of the pilgrimage I was taking a detour to visit a site just to the north. The village of Irinaka lies on the Sanyo-do, the old road that ran along the southern coast that the modern Route 2 roughly follows.


Bizen, the old province name, is famous for its Bizenware ceramics, and the two komainu flanking the entrance to the shrine were made of it. The shed skin of a snake was draped over one.


There was no information on the kami enshrined here but I suspect it was just the local ujigami/yamagami. The two smaller shrines I suspect were moved here from nearby when the government "consolidated" shrine 100 years ago.


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