Showing posts with label kumano. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kumano. Show all posts

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Kumano Shrine Yoshii


The Kumano Shrine in Yoshii, Nagasaki, is a fairly typical small, rural shrine. Set on a small, flat area within a forest clearing, it is reached by several long flights of stairs.

Architecturally it is really just a utilitarian shed housing a small hokora-type shrine with a small altar set up in front of it. However, it looked as if the building had been wider at some point.

There may have been some stone komainu, and the remains of some stone lanterns could be seen, however on the altar was a pair of small, wooden komainu.

Being a Kumano Shrine it enshrines the Kumano Gongen, the collective name for the kami enshrined at the three Kumano shrines in southern Wakayama. There are about 3,000 branch shrines of Kumano in Japan, with three being within just a few kilometers of this one.

I visited in late March 2014 on day 68 of my walk around Kyushu following the Shingon Kyushu 108 temple pilgrimage dedicated to Kobo Daishi. This was the final leg that would see me finishing the pilgrimage ten days later. First I must visit Hirado Island, then go back into Saga prefecture before heading to Munakata in Fukuoka. The previous post in this series was on the shrines I visited on day 67.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Kumanosha, Kunisaki

As I wander around Japan I notice that some areas seem to have a lot of shrines, and in some areas they are far less common. In the areas with a lot of shrines they usually seem to be well visited. There are plenty of signs of activity, though usually they are empty. In the other areas the shrines seem almost abandoned, with little decoration and grounds not well kept.

The Kunisaki Peninsula is one of the first types of area,... there are a lot of shrines. This one, a Kumanosha, was the fifth one I visited in this morning of my second day walking around the peninsula hunting the fall colors.

According to the signboard it was founded in 725 during the reign of Emperor Shomu. The ony kami listed is Izanami.

The sign also mentioned that in the early Taisho era it was registered as an official village shrine. I suspect this was in response to the governments program of the time that ended up closibg half the shrines in the country. Many more would have been closed but in some areas, like Kunisaki I suspect, the people resisted the governments program and found ways to keep more of their shrines open.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Niigusohimenomikoto Shrine

Niigusohimenomikoto Shrine

This shrine is on the main road not far from Mononobe Shrine and appears to be just a small local shrine, but is in fact one of the oldest shrines in the Iwami region, founded in 731.

It is also listed in the Engi Shiki, which means it received offerings from the government in Kyoto. The kami is Niigusohime, and is considered to be a kami of the 5 grains and farming. Strangely she is also associated with cheese! A kind of cheese from Mongolia was introduced in 650. probably via Korea. So maybe she had something to do with that.

There is a sutra mound within the grounds, not so unusual as most shrines had Buddhist elements in earlier times.

There is a small Kumano Shrine too. The shimenawa is Izumo style, big and thick.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kumano Sansho Omiwasha


I started my walk along the Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage in Nachi on the south coast of Wakayama. The first temple is Seigantoji at the famous Nachi Falls, and for the first 8 days the Saigoku Pilgrimage follows the Kumano Kodo.


Just across from the station in Nachi is Kumano Sansho Omiwasha, a subsidiary shrine of Nachi Taisha, and right next door to Fudurakusanji, the temple it was a part of until the separation of shrines and temples in early Meiji.


People would stop at the shrine to purify before heading next door to the temple and then on up the valley to the falls.


The three kami enshrined here are the three Kumano kami enshrined at Nachi, Shingu, and Hongu, Fusumi no okami, Hayatamano, and Ketsumiko no mikoto.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kumano Shrine, Awa City


The Kuman shrine in Awa City is located about halfway between Anrakuji and Jurakuji, temples 6 and 7 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. There are about 3,000 Kumano shrines all over Japan and they are branch shrines of the famous Kumano Sanzan, the three shrine complexes in Wakayama. Kumano was a major cultic center in medieval times and the yamabushi from there spread all over Japan. The Kumano deities are linked with many of the temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage and the Kumano yamabushi seem to have created some of what later became the 88 temple pilgrimage.


The shrine had an unusual pair of zuijin. Normally they are represented in a seated position in armor and with bows and arrows, but here they were standing in robes. I have seen this style only once before in Kunisaki.


Also unusual was the walkway to the shrine buildings were covered. I have seen this before in Okayama.


A sessha (sub shrine) in the grounds had an unusual pair of ceramic komainu. The open mouth of one was stuffed full of 1 yen coins.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The tallest torii in japan

This really is the tallest torii in Japan, located in the town of Tanabe City in the mountains of wakayama.

It is made of steel and is 33.9 meters tall. It weighs 172 tons, and the top lintel is 42 meters wide.

The torii stands at the entrance to the original site of the Hongu Taisha Shrine that stood for more than 1,000 years on a sandbar where several rivers meet. In 1889 a disastrous flood destroyed the shrine and it was moved to its present hilltop site a few hundred meters away.

The torii and the associated hrine and the pilgrimage routes to the three Kumano shrines are now all a World Heritage Site.