Showing posts with label yomi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label yomi. Show all posts

Monday, March 11, 2013

Uppurui Bay

Inome has a wonderful little sheltered cove and beach. Off to the left is a cave that is one of the entrances to Yomi, the Underworld, but I still had a lot of ground to cover on this first day of my Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage so I turned right and headed along the coast.

The road and tunnel are modern creations. There were trails up and over the mountains, but in pre-modern times communication and travel between these little fishing villages would have been by boat.

The coast road heads along the south side of Uppurui Bay, a deep bite into the coast of the Shimane Peninsular. It was here in this bay that I got my first glimpses of flying fish. We were heading into Uppurui by yacht to seek shelter from a forecasted typhoon and I was amazed at how low to the water the flocks of birds were flying until the "birds" disappeared!!! They resurfaced and again flew inches above the water for about 50 meters, and it was then I realized they were fish, not birds.

The name, Uppurui, given to the village on the far side of the bay is most certainly not Japanese, on that everyone agrees, but what it means and what language the word is derived from is a mystery.

After a couple of kilometers I turn and head inland back up into the mountains that I had earlier crossed over. The road up to Gakuenji gets narrower and steeper and the sound of running water is the only sound...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

To Inome

After leaving Onamuchi's shrine the narrow road continues to wind steeply up the mountainside. I love walking these roads as they are more like wide asphalted hiking trails with very little traffic, maybe 1 or 2 vehicles an hour and they usually being Post Office or delivery vans.

At the pass the road forks and I take the right-hand one, the road less travelled, and now I enjoy the road even more as it descends. geologically speaking japan is a very new land, so erosion has not smoothed out the mountains and so they are still steep.  The only sound is of rushing water on its way to the Japan sea a few kilometers downhill

Approaching the village of Inome, it was mostly tea in the fields. Inome means "Wild Boar Eye" and refers to a nearby sea cave that is shaped like a wild boars eye. According to the Izumo Fudoki dreaming of this cave was a portent of your imminent death. The cave is also considered to be one of several entrances to Yomi, the underworld, the most famous one being the one used by Izanagi

Tea does not need flat land to be grown, which suggests that these were once rice-paddies. There was no-one on the street of the village who I could ask.

In the middle of the village the Otoshi Shrine with its unusual double honden

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Suetsugu Shrine


Suetsugu Shrine is located on the shore of Lake Shinji right next to the main bridge coming into Matsue, though as the shrine is listed in the Izumo Fudoki it has probably been in existence for a millenia before Matsue was built.


The two main kami enshrined here are Susano and his "mother" Izanami, and there is also a group of three uncommon kami, Hayatamano, Kotosakano, and Kukurihime, who are all connected to Izanagis visit to see Izanami in the underworld, Yomi.


There are numerous small shrines within the grounds to various aragami including kojin, and also an ebisu shrine.


Right next to the main building is a small shrine that seems particularly popular that I think may be to Benzaiten as there were several small depictions of snakes on the altar.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Yomi, The Underworld!


When it comes to where you go after death, the Japanese have had multiple places to believe in. Probably the most common nowadays is the Pure Land of Buddhism, and also the christian notion of heaven has had some influence. Before the introduction of Buddhism there were several places, Ne no Kuni (land of the root), Tokoyo no Kuni, the land of everlasting life that lay across or under the sea, but the classic version is Yomi, the land of the dead.


Yomi is where Izanami went to after giving birth to the kami of fire caused her death. Her partner, Izanagi, was under strict instructions not to follow her, but he did anyway and discovered a place underground filled with rotting corpses. The description of Yomi reads like the inside of a tomb. Anyway, Izanagi was chased by the hideous guardians of Yomi and only managed to escape by blocking the entrance with boulders.


The entrance to Yomi is up in Izumo, not far from Matsue, just off Route 9. One would think that the entrance to hell would be a big deal, but its actually hard to find, marked with a handpainted sign up a small farm road. The farmer who lives next to it doesnt seem at all bothered by it.


A few kilometres away is Kamosu Shrine, and this is where Izanagi stopped and rested after fleeing Yomi. Afterwards he purified himself with water to get rid of the pollution of death, and in the process created Amaterasu and Susano, among others.