Showing posts with label amenominakanushi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label amenominakanushi. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Suitengu Shrine Kurume

Kurume 久留米

Suitengu Shrine in Kurume is the head shrine of all Suitengu shrines in Japan. It was founded in the 13th Century and moved from various sites until its current location on the bank of the Chikugo River in Kurume.

It felt like a "national", political shrine and researching it has confirmed my feeling.

Suiten is a water deity, originally Varuna, a Hindu deity, and was imported into Japan with Buddhism. In 1868 all the deities in shrines that had a Buddhist origin, and there were very many, were replaced with Japanese kami that usually had imperial connections. All the very popular deities, Inari, Konpira, Myoken, Ebisu, etc were changed to imperially-connected kami.

Now enshrined here are Amenominakanushi, the kami who created the universe and who  is enshrined in hundreds of shrines but only since 1868, Next is Antoku, the child emperor who drowned at the Battle of Dannoura. Prior to 1868 emperors who not enshrined in "shinto" shrines. Emperors who died violently, like Antoku, were enshrined in Buddhist temples, many of which were "converted " to shrines after 1868. Also enshrined are Taira no Tokiko. wife of the famous Taira Kiyomori, and their daughter, Taira no Tokuko, the mother of Antoku.

A large part of the shrine is now devoted to Yasuomi Maki. He was a priest at the shrine, but also a samurai involved in the early stages of the civil wars that led to the Meiji Restoration. Pictured above is the Maki Shrine in the grounds.

In 1862 he was involved in an anti-government "disturbance" in Fushimi in Kyoto and was briefly held under house-arrest. Pictured above is a replica in the shrine grounds of the house he was held in.

Also known as Maki Izumi, in 1864 he took part in fighting in what is known as the Kinmon Incident when pro-imperial forces attempted to take control of the imperial palace in Kyoto. After suffering defeat Maki took his troops to Tennozan and committed suicide.

The grounds of the shrine are quite large and pleasant, with lots of trees, but like many of what I would call the political shrines, it is quite sombre and austere and not much sign of local peoples involvement.

The one exception is the pair of Hizen komainu, which are quite distinctive, and like many statues are used for prayers for healing by rubbing the part of the statues that corresponds to the su\ickness.


Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Yatsushiro Shrine

Yatsushiro Shrine

Yatsushiro Shrine is the major shrine of Yatsushiro in Kumamoto and was established towards the end of the heian Period. Until 1868 it was known as Myoken Shrine and enshrined Myoken, a Buddhist deity who was a manifestation of the Pole Star and Big Dipper. Myoken Shrine was in the middle of a complex of more than a dozen temples.

The Pole Star and Big Dipper figure in most ancient religions of the northern hemisphere, and in Japan in its earliest form seems to have been primarily Daoist. Myoken, the Buddhist version, seems to have arrived later and one credible source suggest that here in Yatsushiro was where it was introduced from the continent,

There were hundreds of Myoken shrines throughout Japan and in 1868 they were all renamed and 2 obscure shinto kami were enshrined in them, Amenominakanushinokami, and Kuninotokotachino. Like much of the "new" shinto of modern Japan it was Hirata Atsutane who decided this.

The current buildings at yatsushiro Shrine date from early and mid Edo period. It is thye home of the Yatsushiro Myokensai, one of the most important festivals in Kyushu. More info about Myoken can be found on my posts about Nose Myokensan, here and here.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Tsunomaki Shrine

On the 20th day of my walk around Kyushu I was attracted to splashes of color on a hillside. This was Tsunomaki Shrine, and the hillside had been denued of trees and replaced with Azalea bushes which, along with some cherry trees, were blooming.

The shrine has been here for a long time as it is listed in the Engi Shiki, a tenth Century document that listed shrines receiving offerings from the central government.. The kami now enshrined here include Amenominakanushi, Takamimusubi, and Kamimusubi, all kami that the Kojiki lists as creators of the universe, but which only became enshrined in shrines in the late 19th Century when the government removed all traces of Buddhism as well as local deities.

The shrine is known for protection of livestock and includes a memorial to the cows that were slaughtered during a recent outbreak of Foot & Mouth Disease

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tonoe Shrine Moji

Tonoe Shrine sems to be the major shrine of Moji in Kitakyushu, but it is overshadowd by an elevated expressway under which you must pass to reach the shrine.

Within the grounds though now considered separate, is a small temple that legend says was funded by Kobo Daishi in 806.

The three main kami enshrined here are Amenominakanushi, considered by the Kojiki to be the first kami to exist, but barely mentioned in the Nihongi, it is believed that in ancient times there were no shrines to him. The other two are Izanagi and Izanami.

Being early in the new year there was a big area covcered with a canopy filled to overflowing with last years ofuda and other ritual paraphenalia bought at the shrine last new year. They will all be ceremonialy burned in a few days,

Monday, June 20, 2016

Takami Shrine

Takami Jinja

Came upon this rather imposing looking shrine while walking from Yahata to Kokura. Apparently when the fledling Japanese steel industry started up here in the late 19th Century the local steel companies made it their tutelary shrine and supported it financially.

According to the legend, Jingu stopped here on her way to invade Korea. The kami now enshrined here suggest to me that they were decided upon in fairly modern times. The primary group of three are Amenominakanushinokami, Takamimusubinokami, and Kamimusubinokami.

These are the first three kami that came into existence at the creation of the universe, but many researchers suggest that in ancient times there were no shrines to them. Before the seperation of Buddhas and Kami in 1868, many shrines throughout Japan enshrined Myoken, the North Star, but because of its buddhist origins the kami was changed to Amenominakanushi.

The list of kami enshrined here continues with Umashiashigabi, Ametokotachi, Kuninotokotachi, and then carries on with a variety of kami connected to the descent of Ninigi and the foundation of the Imperial line, which all leads me to suspect that they were enshrined in the Meiji period with the creation of what became State Shinto.

Secondary shrines in the grounds include one to the 3 Munakata princesses from nearby Munakata.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hachizu Shrine


After leaving Usa Hachimangu and heading towards the Kunisaki Peninsula I chose to avoid the main road and instead headed through the back roads through the village of Hachizu where I stopped in at Hachizu Shrine.


There is a very unusual mix of kami enshrined here, the primary being Amenominakanushi, by some accounts the first kami to come into being, yet very little is known or written about him. There were apparently no ancient shrines deicated to him, but in the Meiji era when the buddhas and kami were seperated, many shrines chose to rename Myoken, the deity of the North Star, Amenominakanushi....


The next is Yaekotoshironushi, another version of the name Kotoshironushi, the son of Okuninushi and now more commonly equated with Ebisu. Then there is the pair of kami Mikahayahi and Hihahayahi who who created out of blood dripping from the sword that Izanagi used to kill the god of fire. Finally there is Uganomitama, the female aspect of Inari.


I am guessing that the pile of rice straw is to make new shimenawa. Secondary shrines within the grounds include Kibune, Tenjin, Konpira, Gion, Inari, Dosojin, and Wakamiya.