Showing posts with label inasehagi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inasehagi. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soja Shrine


Part of the fascination for me in visiting shrines around Japan is to discover the differences and varieties. Architecture, layout, styles of shimenawa and statuary all vary by region, and the first thing I noticed about the larger shrines in southern Okayama is that they all have covered entranceways.


Soja shrine in Soja City gave its name to the town. "Soja" roughly translated means "all the kami shrines", and when the shrine was founded towards the end of the Heian Period the town changed its name from Hachiba to Soja.


Enshrined here are 324 kami!!!! Apparently the local bigwig found it rather tiresome to have to travel around and visit all the shrines in his jurisdiction every year so he gathered them all together in one place, hence the name Soja Shrine.


The two main kami enshrined here are Onamuchi, which is one of names Okuninushi goes by, and one of his wives, Suserihime, a daughter of Susano.


This area of Okayama, formerly the province of Bitchu, still continues a tradition of kagura, so in front of the main shrine were a lot of fine, wooden masks. The mask in the middle with the snot pouring from his nose is apparently Inasehagi!


A very partial list of some of the other 324 kami enshrined here is

Numata Sha
Gion Sha (Susano and family)
Kotohira (Konpira)
Various Aragami


The entrance to the shrine is right next to the Soja Local History Museum, not far from Soja Station. Soja is a good place to start or end a trip on the Kibi Bike Path.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Inasehagi Shrine


Inasehagi Shrine is located in the tiny fishing village of Sagiura on the coast of the western end of the Shimane Peninsular. and is a relatively important shrine being mentioned in the 8th Century Izumo Fudoki and also in the Engi Shiki, a tenth Century document that lists shrines that received support from the Imperial government.


The main kami enshrined here is Inasehagi who is sometimes described as a guide to Amaterasu's envoys who descended to Izumo to convince Okuninushi to hand over to japan to her descendants, and sometimes described as an arbitrater for the discussion (Kuniyuzuri Myth)

All variations of the story say it was Inasehagi who went from Inasa Beach to the eastern end of the peninsular (now Mihonoseki) to fetch back Okuninushi's son Kotoshironushi (Ebisu)


Inasehagi was the son of Amenohohi, one of the five male children created by Susano and Amaterasu. In fact Amenohohi was the first envoy sent by Amaterasu to Okuninushi, but he changed sides and settled in Izumo without reporting back.


Amenohohi is considered to be the ancerstor of the Senge, the priestly family that has run Izumo Taisha since its founding and were previously governors of Izumo.


It is not clear whether Inasehagi came with Amaterasu's envoys or was already in Izumo with his father.


There is a subsidiary shrine in the grounds to a kami called Hakuto which seems to be connected with the white rabbit of Inaba,