Showing posts with label tenjin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tenjin. Show all posts

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Yasaka Shrine Usuki

Yasaka Shrine

This is  branch of the famous Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto that was known as Gion-sha, and is still referred to by that name locally. As a Gion shrine is enshrines Susano and his "wife" Kushinadahime. I'm not sure exactly when it was founded but when Otom Sorin became a Christian and destroyed the shrines and temples the goshintai of this shrine was moved around various places and hidden.

It seems to be the main shrine of Usuki now, and in the late Meiji and early Taisho eras many subsidiary shrines who moved into the grounds as part of the shrine closure program.

There is a Hachiman Shrine but that was established in 1683 as a branch of Iwashimizu. There is also a Tenmangu with its Ox statue.

There is an Inari shrine and an Awashima Shrine and a cuple of others......

Yuzukosho (yuzu pepper) is a signature product from Usuki

Friday, July 29, 2016

Mitarai Tenmangu

Mitarai Tenmangu is located at the back of what used to be the main brothel area of Mitarai, and was popular with the working girls.

Legend says that the mythical Empress Jingu stopped at the well here and washed her hands and that this is where the towns name came from. In the Meiji period a Tenmangu shrine was built here supposedly as Sugawara Michizane also stopped at the well and washed his hands.

The fact that Tenjin was not enshrined here until Meiji suggest to me that maybe it was a strategy to protect the local shrine. In late Meiji the government set about closing down half the shrines in the country, mostly local, nature based shrines. One way to stop your shrine being closed down was to enshrine a "national" god , like Tenjin.

There is a curious monument to a local Mitarai man, Harukichi Nakamura, who was the first Japanese to cycle all the way around the world. which he apparently did in the early years of Meiji.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Kumano Shrine, Honjo

Honjo is a large village on the north shore of the Nakaumi and the main village shrine was a branch of Kumano Shrine. I think this was the first shrine I had come to in the last 2 days of walking that was not either in the Izumo Fudoki nor the Engi Shiki.

The three main kami are Izanami, Hayatamano, and Kotosakano, though usually it is Izanagi associated with the other two rather than Izanami. The shrine had a small but in good condition mikoshi, fairly simple.

In the grounds was a Tenjin shrine, an Inari shrine, and an small shrine with no name.

The Inari shrine had a lot of small kitsune figures, usually white ceramic or plain stone, but also this pair of golden ones. There was also a small pair of figures, Daikoku and Ebisu.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chikuyo Shrine

Chikuya Shrine is a very ancient shrine near Iya in HigashiIzumo near the shore of the Nakaumi Lagoon. It is listed in the Izumo Fudoki which means it was in existence before the eighth Century. It is also listed in the 10th Century Engi Shiki which means it received offerings from the central government. It was moved to its current location in 1666 following a massive flood at its previous location about 1K south.

The primary kami of the shrine is Kotoshironushi, the son of Okuninushi who suggested that Okuninushi cede the land to the Yamato envoys. His main shrine is Miho Shrine not far from here on the Mihonoseki Peninsula. Nowadays he is equated with Ebisu.

The secondary kami enshrined here is named Hayatsumujiwake, and I can find absolutely no reference to him except that the Izumo Fudoki lists a Hayatsumuji Shrine, so I suspect that stood here originally until the Chikuya Shrine was relocated here.

As well as a covered sumo ring there are numerous secondary shrines within the grounds including a Tenman Shrine enshrining Tenjin, an Ise-gu enshrining Amaterasu, an Akiba Shrine for protection against fire, a Munetada Shrine, a Meiji era shrine with connections to the Kurozumi-kyo sect, an Inari Shrine, a Kizuki Shrine, Kizuki being the old name for the area where Izumo Taisha is located, a Konpira Shrine, and a Sumiyoshi Shrine.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Mitoya Tenmangu

After leaving Mine-ji I passed through the town of Mitoya on my way upriver to the next pilgrimage temple, Zenjoji, and stopped in at what appeared to be the main shrine of the town, the Tenmangu.

The newly reconstructed zuijinmon had curtains blocking off the zuijin from view. Being a Tenmangu, the main enshrined deity is Tenjin, considered to be the spirit of Sugawara Michizane.

Curiously it lists Amaterasu along with Tenjin as the main  kami, though I strongly suspect that she is a fairly modern addition.

According to the signboard Michizane spent a few days here during the reign of the Daigo Emperor, which was the time Michizane was "exiled" to Dazaifu. His route to Kyushu from Kyoto would have been through the Inland Sea, so its not clear to me why he would make a trip over the mountains to Izumo. A few hundred meters from this shrine is a small Sugawara Shrine which would seem to reinforce the story.

There are several smaller shrines within the grounds but the only one I could identify was the Inari shrine.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hachizu Shrine


After leaving Usa Hachimangu and heading towards the Kunisaki Peninsula I chose to avoid the main road and instead headed through the back roads through the village of Hachizu where I stopped in at Hachizu Shrine.


There is a very unusual mix of kami enshrined here, the primary being Amenominakanushi, by some accounts the first kami to come into being, yet very little is known or written about him. There were apparently no ancient shrines deicated to him, but in the Meiji era when the buddhas and kami were seperated, many shrines chose to rename Myoken, the deity of the North Star, Amenominakanushi....


The next is Yaekotoshironushi, another version of the name Kotoshironushi, the son of Okuninushi and now more commonly equated with Ebisu. Then there is the pair of kami Mikahayahi and Hihahayahi who who created out of blood dripping from the sword that Izanagi used to kill the god of fire. Finally there is Uganomitama, the female aspect of Inari.


I am guessing that the pile of rice straw is to make new shimenawa. Secondary shrines within the grounds include Kibune, Tenjin, Konpira, Gion, Inari, Dosojin, and Wakamiya.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Noma Hachimangu

Coming down the hill after visiting Hanya-in, the second temple on the Kyushu 108 temple pilgrimage, I took shelter from the drizzle in a small, local Hachiman shrine.

There was no signboard so I could find out little of its history, except that it is a branch of the Usa Hachimangu. two thirds of all the Hachiman shrines in Japan are branches of Iwashimizu Hachimangu near Kyoto, itself a branch of Usa Hachimangu. As such it enshrines Ojin, his mother, Jingu, and his wife Tamayorihime.

There was a secondary shrine to Tenjin in the grounds, and lots of nice trees :)

Hanging from the ceiling was a "zodiac" painting depicting the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, a common artwork in both shrines and temples.

A fairly typical small village shrine now in the middle of a large city.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Enya Shrine

Enya Shrine is the tutelary shrine of Izumo and is located south of downtown. It used to be called Yamuya Shrine, and the main kami enshrined is Yamuyahiko and his wife Yamuyahime.

Yamuyahiko was a grandson of Okuninushi, and other than that I can find no information about him.

The shrine is very old, being listed in the Izumo Fudoki of 720, as well as the Engishiki.

Also enshrined in the main shrine is Kotoshironushi, Oyamazumi, and Ojin,.... a strange mix of kami. Enshrining Ojin makes it a hachimangu, though it is not officially named that,  it is considered the number one of Izumo's eight Hachimangu. Hachiman must have been enshrined here much later.

Secondary shrines within the precincts are to Inari, Tenjin, and Aragami, among others...

There was a nice pair of small, wooden komainu in the Zuijinmon.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kanaya Tenmangu


Kanaya shrine is south of the river in Hagi and therefore a little off the main tourist track, but it was the premier shrine for the castle inhabitants at least. This big gate once held Nio, the Buddhist guardians that were removed in 1868 with the separation of Buddhas and Kami.


It was moved to this site in 1720, though I have been unable to find out exactly from where. Its location is just outside what was a major gate into the castle town. Whenever the daimyo had to travel to Edo for sankin kotai, the forced residence in Edo in alternate years, the entourage would stop first here and pray for a safe journey.


The main enshrined kami is Tenjin, the deified identity of Sugawara Michizane, and this is a branch shrine of Dazaifu Tenmangu.


Being patronized by the rulers, the shrine has lots of donated artworks..... which I will show in a later post...


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tenjin Shrine near Tatsue


After leaving temple 19, Tatsue-ji, the route heads inland and passes this small rural shrine.


Dominated by a huge tree, possibly a Camphor, the shrine also had an unusually small shimenawa.


Though it was called a Tenjin Shrine, enshrining Sugawara Michizane, there were none of the usual indications of a Tenjin Shrine,.... no statues of an Ox, no ema wishing for success in school.


In fact it reminded me of a shrine near my village that is  a Tenjin shrine with a huge, ancient, tree.

The shrine was always simply the tree itself, but faced with closure by the government about 100 years ago the villagers quickly enshrined Tenjin there, and being a "national" kami were spared their shrines destruction.

Could well be that something similar had happened here.