Showing posts with label matsubara. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matsubara. Show all posts

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.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Sotoura Konpira Shrine, Matsubara, Hamada.


Sotoura is a small settlement at the head of a small inlet by Matsubara in Hamada. The small Konpira Shrine is built on top of a rocky outcropping.


The roof of the honden is odd!... the chigi (cross pieces) are aligned at 90 degrees to each other. I've seen this one time before, and if memory serves me well it was also a Konpira shrine. I have no idea if it means anything, but am still trying to find out.


Konpira is a very popular kami, known mostly as a protector of journeys, kind of like St. Christopher. As most journeys in ancient Japan were by sea, it's not surprising that they can often be found in coastal villages..


Like most Japanese Kami, Konpira has gone through many identities and forms. Originally a Hindu god, for most of the past Konpira was a Buddhist god. In the late 19th Century when the government created the new state religion of Shinto they changed its name to Kotohira, though most people still use the name Konpira. The government also decided that Kotohira was really an ancient Japanese Emperor, ... a lot of emperors werte enshrined by State Shinto, though that was not traditional.