Showing posts with label itsukushima. Show all posts
Showing posts with label itsukushima. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Itsukushima-Gu, Togo


Towards the end of my first days walk across and around  Kunisaki  the valley narrowed and the road started to climb towards the middle of the cone shaped peninsula.


Like all the shrines I had visited that day on my walk from Usa Hachimangu, the shrine had a golden Gingko tree in its grounds, though no Nio.


This small shrine was called Itsukushima-Gu, and is therfore a branch of the famous Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima near Hiroshima, enshrining one of the 3 Munakata goddesses connected to travel between Kyushu and the Korean Peninsula.


There was no signboard nor anyone around so I couldnt find any more information, though there was a small Inari shrine and several what I presumed were aragami shrines.


What is noticeable to me is the difference between shrines in different areas of Japan. In some places, like here in Kunisaki, there is a palpable sense of ancient mystery, though I continue to define what exactly that means :)

Monday, February 23, 2009

The floating Torii of Miyajima

One day on Miyajima 4703

I'm going against the grain of the title of my blog this time as this is MOST familiar japan.
It is of course the floating torii in front of Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, probably the second-most photographed scene in Japan after Mt. Fuji.

One day on Miyajima 4471

One of the 3 " best views of Japan", and part of a World Heritage Site, the torii is visited annually by millions.
One day on Miyajima 4607

It, and the shrine, were damaged slightly in a typhoon a few years ago and so has been repaired and is sporting a new paint job. This actual torii was constructed in 1875, and at 16 metres in height is the largest wooden torii in Japan.

One day on Miyajima 4600

Constructed of Camphor, it is a classic example of what is known as Ryoubu Shinto design, I've heard it referred to as 3-legged, and 4- legged, but to me it seems like 6-legged!

One day on Miyajima 4597

Floating torii are not unique to Miyajima. There is another famous one at the head Shirahige Shrine on Lake Biwa near Kyoto, I've seen one on the Oki Islands, and Hinomisaki Shrine near Izumo used to have one when Lafcadio Hearn visited there.

One day on Miyajima 4603

Monday, December 29, 2008

Itsukushima Shrine, Setogashima, Hamada


Setogashima is a tiny island in the harbor of Hamada. The Itsukushima shrine is the only shrine on the island. The three sisters enshrined here (daughters of Susano) are known to be protectors of fishermen, so Itsukushima shrines are common in fishing villages.


The 3 home shrines of the Munakata sisters are located in north west Kyushu, one on the mainland, and the other 2 on 2 small islands. The Munakata clan were responsible for protecting the sea lanes between Kyushu and the Korean peninsular.


The shrine has no secondary shrines within its precincts, and no kagura den, so for matsuri they use the nearby Shimoyama Inari Shrine. The channel seperating Setogashima from the mainland is only a stones throw wide, so a small bridge connects it, but still a huge multi-million dollar bridge was constructed.


It's actually a very quiet, picturesque fishing village of a few dozen houses, and as one of the main harvests in this area is squid, it's not surprising to see squid drying in the sun.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Itsukushima Shrine, Matsubara, Hamada.


This branch of Itsukushima Shrine is located in the fishing village of Matsubara in Hamada at the base of the hill upon which stood Hamada Castle.


The head shrine is the famous Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima, a World Heritage site. The kami enshrined in Itsukushima shrines is Ichikishimahime, a daughter of Susano "born" when Amaterasu chewed up Susanos' sword and spat out three girls. Ichikishimahime's head shrine is not in fact Itsukushima, but in Munakata in what is now Fukuoka Prefecture. Ichikishimahime and her 2 sisters were kami who offered protection on the sea journey between north Kyushu and the Korean Peninsular in ancient times.


There is a small secondary shrine to Inari in the grounds.


Also a small shrine to Ebisu, another kami with an Izumo lineage. His head shrine is at Mihonoseki.