Showing posts with label yasugi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yasugi. Show all posts

Monday, October 6, 2014

Enko-ji, Yasugi

I took a detour around some hills rather than continue on along the main road because I find main roads far less interesting or enjoyable, but also because when studying the maps before my walk I noticed a small temple with a pagoda.

There was no-one around at the temple and no signboards so I have been unable to find out anything about it other than that it belongs to the Soto sect of Zen.

The pagoda is an east asian development of the Nepalese stupa. In China its architecture adopted elements from towers and palaces and that is the form that became adopted in Japan where they are exclusively connected to Buddhism.

The one at Enko-ji is a Tahoto, a Japanese style believed to have originated in the Heian Period. Whereas almost all pagodas have an even number of storeys, the tahoto has only 2, the lower square and the upper round.

A distinctive feature of Japanese pagodas is how far out the eaves extend and overhang, something common to many traditional types of structure and believed to be so that the abundant rainfall of Japan can be kept away from the structures foundations.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Hashima Shrine

Hashima ( or Hajima) Shrine is located on a small rounded hill among the rice paddies just outside Yasugi town center, just off Route 9. The hill is called Gongenyama, and until the Meiji Period the shrine was called Daigongen Shrine. Gongen are/were Buddhist manifestations in kami form.

Like all the shrines in this area of eastern Izumo there was a Zuijinmon ans a nice pair of unpainted Zuijin. At the base of the hill was a stone carved with the name of Dainichi Nyorai, the Great Sun Buddha who was the identity of Amaterasu for a thousand years. However the kami now listed for the shrine are Onamuchi, the Yamato name for Okuninushi, and his "sidekick" Sukunahikona. The Gongen for Okuninushi was Yakushi Nyorai.

There were a couple of smaller shrines in the grounds, an Inari, one to Konohanasakuya, the wife of Ninigi most often equated with Mt. Fuji, and an Oyamagi Shrine.

Like all the shrines in this region there was an altar to Kojin, the most common kami of all. Every shrine has at least one Kojin altar, often more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Day 9 Yasugi to Iya

For the ninth day of the Izumo Kannon Pilgrimage I started out in Yasugi. Now I head back West. Today I will not get to a visit any of the pilgrimage temples.

I will, however, be visiting lots of shrines. This area was where the provincial government of  ancient Izumo was based, and also home to some of the earliest of the myths of Japan.

I will be following the route of the Sanin-do, the ancient imperial highway that linked the region to the capital. It is generally believed to be the least travelled of all the ancient routes. Nowadays Route 9 follows its route, though I hope to be spending a lot of time off the busy road and on side roads.

The route takes along the southern edge of the Nakaumi, marked as a lake on maps but actually a shallow lagoon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yasugi Bushi, Dojou Sukui.

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This is the manhole cover from the town of Yasugi, east of Matsue in Shimane. It shows a dancer dancing the Dojou Sukui. Doujo are small eel-like fish and the dance involves scooping with a basket.

The song accompanying the dance is the Yasugi Bushi, the local folk song that is now known throughout Japan since recordings of it were made in the early 20th century. It is considered one of the most difficult of all Japanese folk songs to sing.