Showing posts with label shujo onie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shujo onie. Show all posts

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Tennenji Temple & Misosogi Shrine


Located above  the Kawanaka Fudo Magaibutsu, Tennenji Temple and Misosogi Shrine are in essence the same place.

They are fairly rudimentary structures, one with a thatched roof. A flood in 1941 washed the original temple away and there have been no resident priests since then and the remaining statues have been looked after by local people.

These 4-5 meter long torches are in readiness for the Shujo Onie fire festival in early February where dancers dressed as demons dance with fire to bring good fortune. These fire festivals take place at several sites around the Kunisaki peninsula. The one I visited at Iwatoji Temple can be seen here.

Next door is a museum devoted to the Shujo Onie festival but which also houses many of the ancient statues from the original temple.

The shrine building has a male-female mask combination. This is fairly common at many shrines, and most would say that the red-faced mask with the long nose was a Tengu, but I think it is a Sarutahiko mask as it is not wearing the tokin, the small black hat that yamabushi wore.

Sarutahiko is considered one of the origins of Tengu. According to the ancient myths, Sarutahiko guided the Yamato heavenly deities down to Japan and later married Uzume and that leads to the combination of masks seen here....

Uzume later became the model for the Otafuku character.....

The shrine, and temple, have their inner sanctuaries under overhangs in the cliff face....

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Shujo Onie Fire Festival

Shujo Onie Fire Festival

February 10th was the Lunar New Year and on the 16th the Shujo Onie Festival was held to mark the occasion. It was held at 2 temples on the Kunisaki Peninsular and I was lucky enough to visit the one at Iwato-Ji. The action began after dark when to the accompaniment of ringing bells and blown conch shells pairs of accolytes ran down the hillside to where the mountain stream had carved a deep pool of water into which the men jumped.

later 4 huge firebrands, 4 to 5 meters in length, were carried down from the temple to a waiting fire where they were lit. Officially this is a buddhist festival at a Tendai temple, but historically its roots are in the unique form of Shugendo in this area.

Then the burning firebrands were carried through the torii and up the steps to the inner shrine area where ther e are caves where the shugenja practised shugyo and other buddhist halls where further ceremonies will take place..

The burning wood was followed by a procession of priests and musicians.

Later there would be much more..... demons (priests in masks) will be brought to life, perform some dances, and then beat all the onlookers with burning sticks. I believe this is to drive away demons and bring good luck for the new year. later still the demons visit all the houses in the community. Unfortunately it was getting late and I was finding the crowds too much so we left.....

Design your own happi coat