Showing posts with label gion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gion. Show all posts

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.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Yasaka Shrine


Well, this place is about as familiar as any in Japan, recognizable to anyone who has been to Kyoto, it is of course the entrance to Yasaka Shrine in Gion, home of the Gion Matsuri.


Until 1868 it was known as Gion Sha, but the name was changed when the government "seperated" the Buddhas and Kami. The original kami was Gozu Tenno, the Ox-Head Heavenly King, a god of epidmics and relief from epidemics. Originally an Indian god, he became associated with Susano.


The main kami is now Susano, but the shrine is very much a family affair with many members of his family also enshrined here. There is Kushinada, his wife, or rather one of his wives, then there is Yashimajinumi, a son born to Susano and Kushinada. he is Okuninushi's great, great, great grandfather. Next comes Isotake and his sisters Oyatsuhime and Tsumatsuhime. All three have connections with tree planting and wood production, and all three came over to Japan with Susano from Korea, so must have been born to another "wife".


Next a couple of Susano's offspring connected to food, especially grains, Otoshi and Ukanomitama. Ukanomitama is well known as Inari, and Otoshi was born to Susano and Oyamatsumi's daughter. There are many Otoshi shrines around, and interestingly he had many, many children who were worshipped by "immigrant" clans.


Finally there is Suserihime ( or Suseribime), a daughter of Susano who became one of Okuninushi's wives. Not bad considering there was 4 or 5 generations between them.

The meaning of all these kami lineages, in my opinion, is to show intermarriage and alliances between powerful clans. What becomes clear is that the lineages tracing back to Susano dominated early Japan, and the Yamato story of Amaterasu and Susano being siblings is the attempt by the later arrivals, the Yamato, to co-opt the ruling clans into their own history and therefore their divine claim to rule.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Wakamiya Hachimangu


Known locally as Toki Shrine, the Wakamiya Hachimangu is located near Gojo a little south of Gion in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto.

This is the heart of the old pottery district, and in August the Kyoto Gojozaka Ceramic Festival is held at the shrine with stalls along the street in front.


The primary kami is Hachiman, now equated with the legendary Emperor Ojin, and also includes his mother Jingu and father Chuai. There are other secondary shrines including this one to Inari.


There is also a Touso Shrine, enshrining the famous Shikoku potter Toushiro. I think this is a twentieth Century addition.


This is the Rengeishi (Lotus stone) donated to the shrine by Ashikaga Takauji, the founder of the Ashikaga Bakufu in the 14th century.


The shrine was originally built some miles to the west in 1053 and was moved to its current location in 1605

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ebisu Shrine, Gion


Ebisu Shrine in Gion is just across the road from Kennin-Ji, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.

Both were built in 1202 and the Ebisu shrine was built to protect Kennin-Ji.


The main kami is of course Kotoshironushi, the official name of Ebisu.


There are numerous secondary kami enshrined within the grounds, including Hachiman and Sarutahiko.


Gion Ebisu is included in the "top 3 Ebisu shrines", and the major Toka Ebisu Matsuri takes place here in early January.


Monday, January 31, 2011

Around Gion


The Gion district of Kyoto is one of the most familiar places to visitors to Japan, and whiles I try to concentrate on posts that are more unfamiliar, because Yoko is from Gion we visit there fairly often to visit family, so sometimes I will post on Familiar Japan.


This little girl was being photographed by her parents last August. Probably not dressed up for Shichigosan as that is not until November.


The chances are she is a student of Nihon Buyo, traditional dance, and has just finished taking part in the annual recital.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Round Windows: looking in (traditional)


Not much I can add to the title, except to give locations. This first one is from a farmhouse in the village of Yairoishi, up in the mountains of Iwami.


This is of the Tea Room at Kennin-Ji, the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.


This is at Komyozen-Ji, a delightful small temple in Dazaifu, Fukuoka. It has my favorite temple garden.


Just a house in Tsuwano.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fake maiko.


These 2 young ladies in Gion were being photographed by a whole gaggle of foreign tourists who most probably believed they were seeing maiko or geisha.


In fact the 2 women were customers of one of the many "Maiko make-over" shops that are in Gion.


With prices ranging from 6,000 up to more than 40,000 yen. you can get made up and wear the costume and then wander around Gion.


So, how can you tell they are fake?

A simple rule of thumb is that if it is the daytime, then almost certainly they are cosplayers. Another thing to look for is how they walk. Very few non-maiko will be able to walk in the correct maiko way. The bags they carry and how they lift the kimono are also give-aways.


Monday, November 9, 2009

See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil


The Three Wise Monkeys, Kikazaru who hears no evil, Mizaru, who sees no evil, & Iwazaru, who speaks no evil.

Behind them thousands of Sarubobo (baby monkey), a kind of amulet shaped like a faceless doll.

At a small temple in Gion, not far from the Yasaka Pagoda.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Obon in Gion


Just got back from a couple of days in Kyoto.

It's Obon season, and we were up visiting Yoko's family in Gion.

Last night we went up the hill behind Gion to visit the cemetery at the temple called Otani-san where Yoko has some family buried. The cemetery is all lit up with lanterns.


About half the crowds there were visitng and washing family tombstones, and the other half were tourists taking photos and enjoying the view over the city. There seemed to be more tourists than usual in Kyoto, probably there for the Daimonji fires that will be lit tomorrow night.


The long path leading up to the temple from behind yasaka Shrine is lined with lanterns.


Down around the main temple buildings all the lanterns were painted by local children.

Apparently Shinran, the founder of the True Pure Land sect has his tomb here.