Saturday, May 30, 2020

Nitta Shrine Satsumasendai

I visited Nitta Shrine in Satsumasendai very early in the morning. The town's name is Sendai, but it is called Satsumasendai to distinguish it from the more famous Sendai up north. It was the 37th day of my Kyushu Pilgrimage and I had a long way to go today. Also I prefer shrines very early because the light is so good for photography, and there are few people around.

Situated on a hill overlooking the river, it is the main shrine for the town and was in fact the Ichinomiya, the highest-ranked shrine of the former province.. It is thought it was established in the early 8th Century, and the primary kami are listed as Ninigi and Amaterasu.

There are many secondary shrines in the grounds and an enormous, old tree, something common at most of the bigger shrines I've visited in Kyushu.

There are plenty of painted carvings on the buildings and I was particularly impressed with a pair of komainu. There is a tendency nowadays for a homogenity in komainu designs throughout the country, but I delight in finding older examples that have unique features.


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