NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/10/1


猿投神社 Sanage-jinja Sanage Shrine

Jp En

Sanage Shrine in Toyota City, Aich Prefecture, is a historic shrine pertaining to the legends referred to in Kojiki (the Records of Ancient Matters) and Nihon Shoki (the Chronicles of Japan). It is said that the shrine was founded in 192 during the reign of Emperor Chuai, but it is not historically verified. The oldest existing record about the shrine says that the deity of this shrine was ranked Ju-goi-no-ge (the second rank of the fith class) in 851. The shrine was the 3rd largest shrine in the Mikawa province in the old times.

The enshrined deity is Ousu no Mikoto, who is a twin brother of Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. According to Nihon Shoki, when Emperor Keiko ordered Ousu no Mikoto to set out for the eastern land to put down the barbarians, he refused it. According to Kojiki, he was killed by his brother Yamato Takeru because he committed a lot of wrongful acts. However, the shrine record says that Ousu no Mikoto was bitten by a poisonous snake and dead in the mountain of Sanage, where he was buried. The shrine also enshrined a left-handed scythe because Ousu no Mikoto was a left-handed person.

The main shrine is located at the foot of Mt. Sanage, 629 m above sea level. Together with the east shrine in the east peak and the west shrine in the west peak, they were generically called Sanage Sanja (three shrines) Daimyojin. The dedication of “Bo-no-te,” a kind of the martial arts using a stick, is held in October every year.
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2007/9/14


比木神社 Hiki-jinja Hiki Shrine

Jp En

It is said that several members of the royalty and high-ranked warriors of Baekje, an ancient kingdom located in southwest Korea, came to Japan in exile after they were defeated by the alloed forces of Tang and Silla. One of them Prince Fukuchi (in Japanese) arrived at Kaguchiura in present Takanabe Town in 660 and lived in the town of Kijo. The place where his house was located was called Hiki (火棄) by local people.

Tough unable to understand their language, local people respected the prince and his retainers, who had high level of knowledge. After the prince died, he was enshrined as Hiki Daimyojin. In 852, the kanji representing its name were changed to “比木” and Hiki Shrine was established.

Prince Fukuchi at Hiki Shrine and his father, Prince Teika enshrined at Mikado Shrine meet each other once a year at Shiwasu Festival of Hiki Shrine. It is a Shinto ritual to console the princes and their royal retainers, who had to leave their homeland and lost their lives in a foreign country.
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2007/9/11


青麻神社 Aoso-jinja Aoso Shrine

Jp En

Aoso Shrine in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, is the headquarters of Aoso shrines all over the country. It was founded in 852 by Hozumi Yasumasa, the ancestor of the current shrine priest’s family, who came to this area from Kyoto. He enshrined Amaterasu Omikami (the sun goddess), Ame no Minakanushi no Kami (the god of the universe), and Tsukuyomi no Kami (the god of the moon) in the cave where holy water sprang out; hereby the shrine is famous as the place where the sun, the stars and the moon are enshrined together.

Yasumasa taught the villagers how to grow hemp plants. It is said that the shrine name “Aoso,” which literally means Green Hemp, was derived from this episode. The shrine has been known for its divine power to cure and prevent palsy, and it is said that if you visit this shrine three times, you will never be stricken with palsy for the rest of your life.

As the Hozumi clan was involved in maritime industry, the shrine is also worshipped as the deity of navigation safety. The famous fine water “Osuzu” springs out in the precinct. A lot of visitors come to take a drink of this holy water.
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