Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hyuga Ichinomiya Tsuno Shrine

On the afternoon of my 20th day walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage  I passed under a large torii that straddled the road, and soon came into Tsuno Shrine, the Ichinomiya, that is to say, the highest ranked shrine in the former Hyuga Province, now Miyazaki Prefecture.

It was a very large shrine with extensive grounds, woods, and a koi and lily pond as well as numerous secondary shrines. What was surprising was the main kami enshrined here,.. Okuninushi. Being Hyuga one might have expected Ninigi, the grandson of Amaterasu sent from the High Plain of heaven to rule Japan, or his descendant Jimmu, the mythical first Emperor, but these kami only really became elevated in the Meiji period when they became an obsession with the nationalists trying to create a state-based "shinto".

I never did find out why Okuninushi, an Izumo kami, was the main one. There was a small shrine to Daikoku, one of the imported 7 Lucky Gods, who because his name is the same characters as Okuninushi are often equated together.

There were also plenty of heart-shaped ema because Okuninushiis now considered the god of enmusubi, especially finding a lover.


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