NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2008/8/13


くしふる神社 Kushifuru-Jinja Kurufushi Shrine

Jp En

Kurufushi Shrine is located in Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture.  The shrine is dedicated to Amatsuhikohikohono-niniginomikoto.
In earlier days when there was no building erected on the site, the mountain itself was the subject of worship and it was counted as one of the Eighty Eight Takachiho Shrines.  In 1694, the shrine was built by the lord of the Nobeoka Clan and the people of the village, who were deeply devoted to their faith.
According to Kojiki, the oldest surviving book, Niniginomikoto descended to the top of “Mount Kujifuru” in Takachiho. This Mount Kujifuru is believed to be today’s Mount Kurufuru where, halfway up the side, the Kurufushi Shrine stands.  In the vicinity are some other mythological sites including Shioujiga-mine which is said to be the birth place of Emperor Jinmu’s brothers, as well as theTakamagaharayouhaisho and Takachioho-hi Monument.
Kurufushi Shrine is a tranquil place surrounded by woods. Visiting this shrine, along with theTakachiho Shrine and the Amanoiwato Shrine is called sansha mairi (three shrines visit) and the practice has been popular since the old days.  
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2008/2/19


奥石神社 Oiso-jinja Oiso Shrine

Jp En

The origin of Oiso Shrine in Azuchi Town, Shiga Prefecture, is unknown, but it is presumed to have been the oratory for the mountain god residing at the top of Mt. Kinugasa. The enshrined deity is Amatsukoyane no Mikoto, an ancestor of the Fujiwara clan.

According to a legend, when Ototachibanahime no Mikoto threw herself into the sea to appease the rage of the sea god and saved Yamato Takeru, who was on his way to the eastern land, she was pregnant and said “I will stay in Oiso Woods and become a guardian goddess for safe childbirth.” From this episode, the shrine is visited by a lot of women who offer a prayer for safe delivery.

Guarded by Oiso Woods, Honden (the main hall) stands at the end of the front approach. It is a 3-bay flowing style building. Tosatsu (the wooden plate staked to a building7s ridgepole stating details of the construction) shows that it was constructed in 1581. The stone monument inscribed with a poem written by Motoori Norinaga, a Japanese scholar of Kokugaku during the Edo period, stands in a corner of the precinct.
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2007/8/6


くしふる神社大祭 Kushifuru-jinja-taisai Kushifuru-jinjya Shrine Festival

Jp En

Kushifuru-jinjya Shrine Festival takes place every October at Kushifuru-jinjya Shrine in Mitai, Takachiho-cho, Nishiusuki-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture.
It is not known when Kushifuru-jinjya Shrine was first worshiped. Initially it didn’t have a built structure and the entire Kushifuru mountain was seen as an object of worship. It was 1694 when the devotion of  Nobeoka Clan and the villagers led to the building of the shrine. The deity of the shrine is Amatsuhikohikohononinigi-no-mikoto.
The biggest attraction of the festival is a long parade that consists of over 600 people including portable shrines and brass bands in a procession 2.6 km round trip from Kushifuru-jinjya Shrine to Takachiho-jinjya Shrine through the center of the town.
A Sumo wrestling tournament, which has taken place for over 350 years, occurs in the precincts of the shrine. Also babies compete with their loud cries for good health in “Unari Sumo”. Parades by groups with stick weapons and brass bands and archery tournaments are also held.
Kushifuru-jinjya Shrine Festival is a valiant festival proud of its long tradition.
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2007/6/21


能面 天神 Noumen Tenjin Noh Mask Tenjin

Jp En

It is said that the Tenjin mask represents the furious countenance of Sugawara no Michizane, before he was deified. It is used for various heavenly gods including Michizane.
In the play “Raiden,” Michizane lost his position as Minister of the Right and was banished to Kyushu on account of an intrigue by a jealous Minister of the Left. Dying in rage, he transforms himself to Raijin, the god of lightening and thunder, and brings calamities to the court and capital, but was defeated by the Priest Hossho-bo from Enryakuji Temple on Mt. Hiei. As the emperor decided to deify him as Tenjin, the god of study, Michizane’s spirit is finally appeased.

The reddish coloring, the hair around the lips, the eyebrows, and the gold metal eyes give the mask an air of heightened emotions and movement. However, the mask's unassuming nose, thin lips, and open mouth exposing upper and lower teeth are simple and human-like.

The mask is also used to portray Idaten, who is a swift-footed deity, in the play “Shari,” and Amatsu Futodama, a deity who defeats the devil by using the golden tablet and the bow and arrow, in the play “Kinsatsu.”
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2007/3/15


富士山本宮浅間大社 Fujisan-honguu-sengen-taisha Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine

Jp En

Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine located in Miya-cho, Fujinomiya City, Shizuoka Pref. is an old shrine that had been worshipped by generations of warriors. The enshrined deity is Konohana no Sakuyahime no Mikoto. This is the head shrine of all the 1300 Sengen shrines in Japan and the center of Mt. Fuji worship. Mt. Fuji itself is considerd as the sacred body of god and the back shrine is located at the top of Mt. Fuji. The origin of the shrine dates back to 27 B.C., when Asama no Okami, the holy spirit of Mt. Fuji was enshrined at the foot of the mountain. In the later periods, this volcanic god came to be identified with Konohana no Sakuyahime, a princess in ancient myths. At the present time, her husband, Amenigishiku Ninigishi Amatsuhikoho no Ninigi no Mikoto, and her father, Oyamatsumi no Mikoto are also enshrined. The shrine possesses the land above the 8th station of Mt. Fuji.
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2007/1/23


多度大社 Tado-taisha Tado Taisha Shrine

Jp En

Tado Taisha is a shrine located in Tado-cho, Kuwana City, Mie Prefecture. Its tutelary deity is Amatsu-hikone, the 3rd child of the sun goddess Amaterasu-Ookami.

Because it enshrines one of the sons of Amaterasu-Ookami, the shrine has a strong connection with the Ise Grand Shrine, as can be seen from the famous poem: 'If you come to Ise Shrine to worship, then you should visit Tado Shrine, too. If you don't, then your visit will only be half of what it could be.'

The shrine is also commonly known as Kita-ise-daijinja, Tado-daijinja, and so on. In the case of Tado Taisha, the name stands for Tado-jinja as the main structure, combined with other additional minor small shrines in the vicinity. From ancient times, Mt Tado (403m) has been worshipped as a divine mountain, as can be seen from the Iwakura (sacred stone) found halfway up the mountain.

The shrine is said to have been first constructed in the mid-5th century during the reign of Emperor Yuuryaku. It was burned down by Nobunaga Oda in 1571, but rebuilt in 1605 by Tadakatsu Honda. The shrine holds seven National Important Cultural Assets including Tado-kyou, Jingu-jigaran-engi-narabini-shizai-chou, and others.
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