Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Shioya Oji Shrine


Shioya Town, now art of Gobo City, lies on the southside of the Hidaka River on the West coast of the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama.

The shrine is said to have been founded in 805 by a man who began the salt-producing and salt trade that the town is named after.

In the 11th century, when imperial pilgrimages to Kumano were at their height, 99 subsidiary shrines called "oji" were established along the route.

Shioya Oji Shrine was in the first group of seven Oji established and so is considered one of the oldest and most important. Yesterday I had stopped at Kirimie Oji, and the day before at Takajiri Oji, another two from the first group of seven.

The shrine was also known as "Beautiful Oji Shrine", with two theories as to why. One suggests that the statue of Amaterasu enshrined here ( as a form of Dainichi Buddha) was particularly beautiful. Another that the beautiful sea views from the shrine inspired many songs and poems by courtiers who stayed here.

There are numerous secondary shrines in the grounds, including an Ebisu, an Inari, a Kotohira, and a Susa. The previous post in this series on the Kumano Kodo and Saigoku pilgrimage was From Kirime Oji to Tsui Oji.

1 comment: