Showing posts with label myoken. Show all posts
Showing posts with label myoken. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Yatsushiro Shrine

Yatsushiro Shrine

Yatsushiro Shrine is the major shrine of Yatsushiro in Kumamoto and was established towards the end of the heian Period. Until 1868 it was known as Myoken Shrine and enshrined Myoken, a Buddhist deity who was a manifestation of the Pole Star and Big Dipper. Myoken Shrine was in the middle of a complex of more than a dozen temples.

The Pole Star and Big Dipper figure in most ancient religions of the northern hemisphere, and in Japan in its earliest form seems to have been primarily Daoist. Myoken, the Buddhist version, seems to have arrived later and one credible source suggest that here in Yatsushiro was where it was introduced from the continent,

There were hundreds of Myoken shrines throughout Japan and in 1868 they were all renamed and 2 obscure shinto kami were enshrined in them, Amenominakanushinokami, and Kuninotokotachino. Like much of the "new" shinto of modern Japan it was Hirata Atsutane who decided this.

The current buildings at yatsushiro Shrine date from early and mid Edo period. It is thye home of the Yatsushiro Myokensai, one of the most important festivals in Kyushu. More info about Myoken can be found on my posts about Nose Myokensan, here and here.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Inside Seirei at Nose Myokensan

Looking up from the center of the floor at the Seirei Hall of the Nichiren temple on top of Nose Myokensan.

The altar to the Bodisattva Myoken on the upper floor which is made of glass and is suspended from the roof. Designed by Shin Takamatsu.

Four figures, 2 female and 2 male, representing the Bodhisattvas of the 4 directions hang over the hall.

Only open to the public once a month, I was lucky enough to get permission to photograph inside, but I wish I had more time to spend in this amazing structure. Photos of the outside are in this previous post.

Looking directly up from below the glass floor.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Seirei by Shin Takamatsu

I've posted photos of the works of Shimane born architect Shin Takamatsu quite a few times. I do like his work and there are a lot of them in my neighborhood, but I finally made a trip to the sacred  mountain of  Nose Myoken San to see a work that I have wanted to see for ages.

On top of the mountain is a Nichiren temple to Myoken, the Pole Star, and Takamatsu was asked to design a new worship hall which is named Seirei.

Its floorplan is in the shape of a star, and the materials are glass, metal, and wood. The wood was taken from trees on the mountaintop site.

It is open just one day a month, but I got permission to go inside so I will post photos of that next.....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

East Well Shrine


When we came out of the Nagashibina Doll Museum in Mochigase I spied a little splash of autumn colors across the valley and suspected it might be a shrine. I was right.


The name might be Higashii Shrine, or it might be Toi Shrine, so to be on the safe side I use its name translated into English, East Well Shrine.

The main kamis are Susano and Myoken Daimyojin. Daimyojin means "great Shining Deity" and is an appelation applied to many kami, eg Kasuga Daimyojin, Inari Daimyojin, etc. Myoken, like many gods and kami in Japan has a long and complex history, but is a primarily known in its esoteric buddhist form as the god of the Pole Star and Big Dipper. With the seperation of buddhas and kami in the Meiji era most places enshrining Myoken changed its name to Ame no Minakanushi, so the use of the name Myoken here may have been a return to the old name in the postwar period.


There were a couple of secondary shrines within the grounds including this one to Inari.


The priests house was empty and abandoned, and behind it a small untended garden that would have looked good in its prime.