Sunday, February 11, 2024

Norito Shrine


Norito Shrine was established about 1,000 years ago when the area it is in was "developed", that is to say turned from semi-wilderness into settled agricultural land.

It is located in the Ainoura River Valley which at this point runs east to west and is in essence a suburb of Sasebo.

There is also an Inari shrine in the grounds.

Norito is an unusual name for a shrine as it is the word that refers to the ritual chants, often called prayers, that Shinto priests utter in ceremonies. prior to the Meiji era the shrine was known as Ikuhara Daimyojin.

The main kami enshrined here is Iwainushi, believed to be a version of Futsunushi, a martial deity connected to swords and Katori Shrine who was an emissary from Amaterasu to Okuninushi and is claimed as the ancestor of the Mononobe Clan and later the Nakatomi/Fujiwara.

I was heading up the valley on day 67 of my walk along the Kyushu pilgrimage after visiting Tozenji Temple.


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