Showing posts with label akiba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label akiba. Show all posts

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chikuyo Shrine

Chikuya Shrine is a very ancient shrine near Iya in HigashiIzumo near the shore of the Nakaumi Lagoon. It is listed in the Izumo Fudoki which means it was in existence before the eighth Century. It is also listed in the 10th Century Engi Shiki which means it received offerings from the central government. It was moved to its current location in 1666 following a massive flood at its previous location about 1K south.

The primary kami of the shrine is Kotoshironushi, the son of Okuninushi who suggested that Okuninushi cede the land to the Yamato envoys. His main shrine is Miho Shrine not far from here on the Mihonoseki Peninsula. Nowadays he is equated with Ebisu.

The secondary kami enshrined here is named Hayatsumujiwake, and I can find absolutely no reference to him except that the Izumo Fudoki lists a Hayatsumuji Shrine, so I suspect that stood here originally until the Chikuya Shrine was relocated here.

As well as a covered sumo ring there are numerous secondary shrines within the grounds including a Tenman Shrine enshrining Tenjin, an Ise-gu enshrining Amaterasu, an Akiba Shrine for protection against fire, a Munetada Shrine, a Meiji era shrine with connections to the Kurozumi-kyo sect, an Inari Shrine, a Kizuki Shrine, Kizuki being the old name for the area where Izumo Taisha is located, a Konpira Shrine, and a Sumiyoshi Shrine.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kagamiyama Tenmangu Shrine, Hamada.


Kagamiyama Tenmangu is hidden away on a large hillside right next to Route 9 as it passes through central Hamada. It is reached through a narrow alleyway and then a long flight of stairs. As is often the case, the shrine is located right next to a small temple, and in all probability they were one and the same place until the government executed shinbutsubunri, the seperation of buddhas and kami, in the mid 19th Century.


The main kami of the shrine is Tenjin, the kami of scholarship and poetry. There are 2 secondary shrines, one an Akiba shrine, a very popular kami spread throughout Japan by yamabushi, and an Ebisu shrine. The shrine does not appear to be used much, probably owing to the fact that 100 metres away is a branch shrine of Izumo taisha, which is very popular.

Route 9, the main road through Hamada starts in Kyoto and runs all the way to Yamaguchi. It follows the ancient Sanindo, one of 7 roads that radiated out from the fledgling capital in Asuka, near Nara, in the 6th Century when the Yamato were beginning to consolidate their control over Japan.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Akiba Shrine, Nishigamo, Kyoto.


In the foothills of NW Kyoto City stands Kyoto Golf Club. Bisecting the convoluted course is a narrow valley reached by a small road that passes Shakuhachi Pond. After passing under the bridge traversed by the golf carts one comes to Akiba Shrine. Enshrined here is one of the Fire Protection deities. There are many Akiba Shrines scattered throughout Japan, the original shrine is in Shizuoka, and the Akiba cult was spread by Yamabushi, the mountain warrior monks of the shugendo religion.


The shrine is in a state of poor repair, and seems abandoned, but on closer inspection one sees that the altars in front of the small hondens have fresh offerings placed upon them.

There is also a small Inari shrine, also with fresh offerings. Probably no priests visit the shrine. Akiba (sometimes pronounced Akiha) is classified as a "folk" kami, which basically means its very popular but has nothing to do with the Imperial kami that State Shinto is based on.


Further evidence of the Shugendo connection is the small altar to Fudo Myojin, a Buddhist deity of Indian origin that was particularly revered by followers of Shugendo. The altar is at a water purification spot, the channel above brings ice-cold mountain water which falls onto the yamabushi in a form of water purification. Shugendo was outlawed by the Meiji government in their drive to create the national State religion of Shinto. It became legal again after 1945, but is now just a pale imitation of what it was.