Thursday, October 13, 2022

Ogori Hiyoshi Shrine

 


Monkeys are the messengers of Hiyoshi shrines, so its not surprising that at the Ogori Hiyoshi Shrine in Ogori, Fukuoka,  there are monkey statues around the grounds.


It is one of almost 4,000 branches around Japan of Hiyoshi Taisha located at the base of Mount Hiei in Shiga.


Before the Meiji period many of the Hiyoshi shrines were called Hie Shrine or Sanno Shrine, as the shrine was based on the Sanno cult, or Mountain King.


The cult was a kami cult based on Tendai Buddhism and the main kami was Oyamakui, and when the imperial court moved to the area temporarily in the late 7th century ( in fear of attacks from Korea ), Okuninushi was added, though as the area was earlier settled by Korean immigrants there was certainly Korean "kami" in the mix also.


The main building of the Ogori Hiyoshi Shrine had some really nice carvings.



The shrine seemed to be quite popular which usually indicates "this worldly benefits" and several of the monkey statues had babies. There was also a tall tree that had split into two trunks, commonly a symbol of marriage.


There was also a set of statues of the # Wise Monkeys, and while they are not purely of Sanno Shinto origin, several of the strands that make up their origin in Japan have strong Tendai connections.


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