Showing posts with label imbe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label imbe. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Oasahiko Shrine

A more than 15 meters tall torii marks the beginning of the 800 meter long approach road to Oasahiko Shrine. The road itself is lined with dozens of stone lanterns.

The exact date of the shrines founding is unkown, but it is listed in the Engishiki of the early tenth century, and the shrine grew in importance during the next millenium.

In the middle of the main shrines compound is a huge Camphor tree believed to be over 1,000 years old.

The main kami enshrined here are Oasahiko no Okami and Sarutahiko. Oasahiko is the enshrined name of Ame no Tomi, an ancestor of the Imbe clan who was sent by the mythical Emperor Jimmu to find land suitable for hemp cultivation.

Hemp was a very important plant in Japan until Shogun Macarthur outlawed it during the occupation.

Hemp is not mentioned at all at the shrine, and in fact the importance of hemp in Japan has been almost completely removed from history.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Teono Shrine


Teono Shrine is situated atop a small hill, Honozan, between Izumo taisha and Inasa Beach. The 2 kami enshrined here are Taokihooi, a god of measuring, and Hikosashiri, a god of carpentry. They are considered to be the ancestors of 2 branches of the Imbe Clan, and in the Kogoshui version of the Iwato myth the 2 were charged with the construction of a "great palace" outside of the cave that Amaterasu was hiding in. Some consider this to be the first kagura den. Most likely this was the shrine for the builders of Izumo Taisha.


Behind the shrine is a sacred tree home to Shirohebi Daijin, I suspect the site of a visit by a white snake, considered particularly portentious.


Next to the shrine is a small park with an observation tower offering views over the surrounding country. The long beach is Nagahama, and according to the Kunibiki myth it is a rope that tethers this peninsular to Mount Sanbe, just visible in the distance.


Much of the land down below would have been water 100 years ago. Lake Shinji has been reduced by over one third and land reclaimed earlier in the twentieth Century. The Hi River once emptied into the sea here but now empties into what is left of lake Shinj. 10,000 years ago this peninsular was an island separated from the mainland.


Downtown Izumo City in the distance. The plastic greenhouses in the forground are for grapes for the Shimane Winery.