Sunday, June 16, 2024

Kurokami Shrine


I came down Mount Kurokami along a walking trail and as it got closer to the base passed though an old, Hizen-style torii, indicating this was the route used to reach the shrine at the peak.

There was another, slightly smaller torii where the trail emerged from the trees into the countryside. According to the sign it was built in the late 18th century.

Not far away I reached the entrance to Kurokami Shrine. Technically this is Lower Kurokami Shrine, and the one on top of the mountain the Upper Kurokami Shrine.

The approach to the shrine passes over a small bridge. This was the ancient and traditional way of purifying before entering shrine space. passing over running water. If you look at many of the oldest shrines they all have this feature.

There were lots of people in suits and kimonos milling around, and several priests.

A Shinto wedding had just taken place. Shinto weddings are one of the many "traditions" that were either invented in the modern period or moved to within shrines in the modern period. Christian weddings have a much longer history in Japan than Shinto weddings.

The shrine is said to have been founded in ancient times, but the shrine history recognizes the huge impact Kumano Shugendo had on the shrine, including listing the Buddhas connected to it.

The upper shrine enshrines Izanami as well as Hayatama and Kotosaka. The secondary shrine at the top of the mountain is a Hakusan Shrine enshrining Izanagi.

Secondary shrines here at the lower shrine include a Tenjin, Taga, and a Konpira.

At the peak of its power, Kurokami had 50 branch  shrines. It was popular with samurai during the Warring States period and a yabusame event is held here once a year.

There is also a secondary shrine to Amaterasu, though I am certain that is very much a modern addition, as is the Ise-style architecture.

The previous post was on the giant cliff carving of Fudo high up on the mountain.


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