Showing posts with label Shrine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shrine. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2024

Miyajitake Shrine Sasebo


Miyajitake Shrine in Sasebo is on a steep hillside in the downtown area.

I can find no history of it, though at the entrance there is a cluster of small local shrines that would have been moved here probably in the early 20th century, if not earlier.

The architecture is modern, as the original would have been destroyed in the great bombing raid of 1945.

The new structure is quite unique, with a long covered structure leading to the main hall.

It is a branch of the quite famous Miyajidake Shrine further north in Fukuoka.

It was built around a major kofun for a powerful, local ruler and is now considered to be Empress Jingu.

Also enshrined are two of her brothers.

The previous ost was on the Fudo Myo statues below nearby Saihoji Temple.

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Isotake Port


Just a short walk past one small inlet after Takuno and I came into Isotake Port.

Named after Isotakeru, one of the sons of Susano, the small shrine at the harbour, Karakamishirahige Shrine is where I first read about the myth of Susano coming here.

The shrine's name roughly translates as " foreign gods from Sila" and enshrines Susano and a couple of his daughters. Some versions say that Isotakeru came with them from Sila, some say he was born here.

The shrine records say that Susano and others would travel back and forth to the Korean Peninsula, a story confirmed by other legends further down the coast at several coastal towns in  Yamaguchi. The myth of Susano's arrival in these parts is also recognized at the previous port of Takuno.

It is a decent-sized harbour with quite a few inshore fishing boats.

A friend and I stopped in here in a small yacht many years ago, and the local fishermen were intrigued by our boat.

If you look back through all the posts in this series documenting my explorations of the Sea of Japan coast, you may notice there are only fishing boats, no pleasure boats of any kind. Yachts and pleasure boats exist in Japan of course, but not in this neck of the woods.

Like traditional towns, these little fishing settlements have lots of very narrow alleys between the houses.

The previous post was on Takuno Port.

Friday, July 5, 2024

Kameyama Hachimangu Shrine Sasebo


Located on top of a small hill in what is now central Sasebo, Kameyama Hachimangu is by far the biggest and most important shrine in Sasebo.

The shrine claims to have been founded directly from Usa Hachiman Shrine in the late 7th century.

At that time it was a Kyushu cult and had not yet been adopted nationally, nor was it yet associated with the legendary emperor Ojin.

The Hachiman cult was adopted by the samurai and so assumed major importance in later Japanese history, so when Sasebo became a major naval port in the late 19th and  twentieth centuies the shrine was patronized by the local naval officers.

Like much of central Sasebo, the shrine was completely destroyed by bombing in 1945.

As a Hachman shrine the main kami are Ojin, his mother Jingu, and his father Chuai. Unusually Nintoku, his son, is also listed here. There are also numerous secondary shrines within the grounds.

In the modern, postwar ranking of shrines Kameyama Hachiman is listed as Beppyo, which means more important than a regular shrine.

I was exploring Sasebo at the end of day 71 of my Kyushu pilgrimage walk as I had been based in Sasebo for several days. The previous post was on Mimasakachinju Shrine.

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Mimasakachinju Shrine


Mimasakachinju Shrine is just across the road from Toko-ji temple and is almost certainly the guardian shrine that was relocated from the temple at the start of the Meiji period.

It is usual for separated shrines and temples to be adjacent to each other, and the temple records refers to a "guardian" shrine, which is the name of the shrine.

Also, all the structures, komainu, etc have dates from late Meiji period, and finally, the original shrine temple complex enshrined Kurokami Gongen, and the kami enshrined here are the exact same as at Kurokami Shrine.

The kami listed are Amaterasu, Izanami, Hayatama, Okuninushi, Kotosaka, Takeuchi, and Sugawara Michizane. In 1907 during the national campaign to close local shrines, 5 shrines were moved here....a Daijingu, a Gongensha, a Myojinsha, a Kotoshirasha, and a Tenjinsha.

This was my last stop of the days pilgrimage and I headed back to Sasebo for the night one last time. The previous post was Toko-ji Temple.

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Kiyama Shrine


Kiyama Shrine is a large shrine on the lower slopes of a mountain to the south of Maniwa in Okayama.

Above the shrine, at 430 m altitude is Kiyama Temple. Until 1868 the shrine and temple were one site called Kiyama-gu.

In 1868 the shrine and temple were separated and I believe many of the current shrine buildings date from that time.

In 1962 the shrine buildings were dismantled and reconstructed at the current site much lower down the mountain.

The Inner Shrine, the Okumiya, remained at the original site next to the temple. 

It dates to the late 16th century and is a prefectural Important Cultural property. It features in the last 2 photos of this post and when I was visiting a new copper roof had been finished.

The shrine-temple complex was founded in 816 by none other than Kobo Daishi.

The shrine was known as Kiyama Gozu Tenno, a branch of what is now called Yasaka Shrine in Gion, Kyoto.

Long conflated with Gozu Tenno, the main kami is now considered to be Susano.

Gozu Tenno was also considered a manifestation of Yakushi Nyorai, the main deity/Buddha of the temple.

On the approach up to the shrine is a Zuijinmon gate with a fine pair of zuijin. Also there are a pair of fox statues.

One of the secondary shrines is Zenkaku Inari., a branch of Fushimi Inari established here in 1714 by the monk Zenkakubo.

Fushimi Inari was considered a manifestation of Kannon that was also enshrined in the main temple along with Yakushi, so we can see that the kami and the buddhas at such a syncretic site as Kiyama-gu, were very connected and/or complementary

Kiyama Shrine has an Emaden, a hall existing solely for the display of ema, votive tablets.

These ema are not the small, standard-sized boards now common at shrines and temples, but rather large paintings, see the two photos just above.

The size of the shrine and temle is an indication that it was well supported not only by local notables and rulers but also by regional warlords.

Signs on the old Izumo Kaido not far away indicate that it was also well known among a wider public

Worth looking out for are the hundreds of paper lanterns hung from the ceiling of the main hall.

Also worth noting is the unusual style of shimenawa.

I walked here from Tsuyama on a rainy summer day as Kiyama Temple was the next pilgrimage temple on the Chugoku Kannon pilgrimage.

There is no public transport to Kiyama Shrine. It is very close to the Chugoku Expressway and is near the Ochiai Interchange. The closest train station is Mimasaka Ochiai Station, 5 kilometers away.

The ox statue is in front of the Tenmangu Shrine which was probably established in the mid-19th century.

The previous post in this series on day 5 of my walk along the Chugoku Kannon pilgrimage was on Sakura Shrine.