Friday, January 12, 2018

Kumanosha, Kunisaki

As I wander around Japan I notice that some areas seem to have a lot of shrines, and in some areas they are far less common. In the areas with a lot of shrines they usually seem to be well visited. There are plenty of signs of activity, though usually they are empty. In the other areas the shrines seem almost abandoned, with little decoration and grounds not well kept.

The Kunisaki Peninsula is one of the first types of area,... there are a lot of shrines. This one, a Kumanosha, was the fifth one I visited in this morning of my second day walking around the peninsula hunting the fall colors.

According to the signboard it was founded in 725 during the reign of Emperor Shomu. The ony kami listed is Izanami.

The sign also mentioned that in the early Taisho era it was registered as an official village shrine. I suspect this was in response to the governments program of the time that ended up closibg half the shrines in the country. Many more would have been closed but in some areas, like Kunisaki I suspect, the people resisted the governments program and found ways to keep more of their shrines open.


  1. I understood that the Meiji Restoration had most impact on the buddhist Temples. I was not aware that many shrines were also closed. Or wa it more a matter of consolidation?

    1. consolidation might be one way to decribe it..... what they closed were non-national shrines. Partly to force people to worship the national gods and partly to severely limit the number of matsuri that people took time off work to attend