Showing posts with label amenokoyane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amenokoyane. Show all posts

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hachiman Shrine Kawagoe


A little over a kilometer further upstream from the main part of Kawagoe village and bridge is another sizable settlement.

Called Watari on old maps it is now just part of Kawagoe but had a quite large Hachiman Shrine.

One source says it was founded in the early 11th century, which seems feasible as on the opposite bank of the river is a large temple founded even earlier.

I have been to all-night matsuris in almost all the shrines in this area, but not this one. I suspect the main shrine for Kawagoe is the new Suwa Shrine back in the main part of the village. The interior of this one did not have a tengai, the overhead canopy under which kagura is performed.

Being a Hachiman shrine, the three main enshrined kami are Emperor Ojin, his mother, Jingu, and his wife. Also enshrined here are Amenokoyane, Futsunushi, Takemikazuchi, and Ebisu.

The previous post in this series on my walk up the Gonokawa River to its source was Along the Gonokawa to Kawagoe.

Monday, July 25, 2022

Miyano Shrine established for Military Success


Miyano Shrine in Asakura, Fukuoka, is located just a stone's throw from the site of the temporary palace of Empress Saimei who was here in northern Kyushu overseeing an invasion force heading to the Korean peninsula to aid in the restoration of the Paekche after their defeat by the combined forces of Sila and Tang China.

She ordered Nakatomi no Kamatari to set up the shrine and it was built facing Korea for the prayers for the success in the upcoming "special military operation". At the Battle of Baekgang, a primarily naval encounter, the much larger Yamato navy was decimated by the Tang navy, and Japan's military operations in the Korean peninsula were halted for almost a millenium.

The kami enshrined here for military success were Amenokoyane, claimed by the Nakatomi as their ancestor. The other was Okuninushi, the Izumo kami, and a strange choice, although after Izumo became subsumed in the Yamato polity, Okuninushi was enshrined in a protective circle of sacred mountains surrounding the Yamato capital.

Not long after arriving here and setting up the palace and shrine, Saimei died and her son, Tenji, took over. While Saimei had previously been empress Kogyoku, her son and Nakatomi Kamatari had assassinated the Soga who had been the most powerful clan in Yamato. Kogyoku had been a supporter of the Soga. She abdicated and her brother became emperor. He died a few years later and she took the throne again. Some historians think she may have been poisoned when she died suddenly in 661.

After taking over as emperor, one of the things Tenji did was award Nakatomi Kamatari a new family name of Fujiwara. The Fujiwara went on to become the most powerful family in Japan for many centuries along the way wiping out the Mononobe who had been their allies against the Soga. Many of the powerful clans in Yamato, including the imperial family, seem to have strong ancestral ties to the korean peninsula, especially to Paekche, which would explain their interest in military involvement.

I have always been fascinated by the Izumo connection to Sila and how that played out with the Yamato connection to Paekche.