Thursday, January 27, 2022

Kokubunji Byakuraku Shrine

Kokubunji Byakuraku Shrine

Coming into Niima at the end of my third day walking along the Iwami Kannon Pilgrimage I stopped in at the local shrine.

The name was quite intriguing, as kokubunji were the series of "national" monasteries established in the Nara period, one being established in each of the provinces, and I have visited the site of the Iwami Kokubunji in Shimoko near Hamada.

However, it turns out that the provincial capital was in fact originally here in what is now Niima, before being moved to Hamada. I had never known that before. So it turns out theshrine was built in the grounds of the earlier kokubunji.

The main kami of the shrine is Ikazuchi, a thunder god most well known as the kami of the famous  kamigamo shrine in Kyoto/

The shrine has now been combined with a Hachiman Shrine.

Within the grounds are several smaller shrines including an Imamiya and an Inari.

The shrine is listed in the tenth century Engishiki, which means it received offerings from the cetral government.


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