NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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往馬大社 Ikoma-taisha Ikoma Taisha Shrine

Jp En

Ikoma Taisha Shrine is located in Ikoma district, Nara Prefecture. The official name of the shrine is Ikoma niimasu ikomatsuhiko jinja.

The shrine consists of seven 'kasuga-hiwadabuki'-styled Shinto shrines built in a row along a stone platform.

From ancient times, Mt Ikoma was treated as the god of fire in the Shinto shrine. Since then, the shrine has bestowed a fire-making tool called 'hikirigi' to each succeeding emperor. For example, it was bestowed on the Showa emperor during the Onie no Matsuri (a festival to celebrate the succession of an emperor). Similarly, in 1990 in the Saiden-tentei no gi (a ritual within the Onie no Matsuri) of the Heisei emperor, the hikirigi of Ikoma Taisha Shrine was used.

In the fire festival held annually in autumn, men holding torches race to and run up the shrine's stone steps.

The hikirigi of Ikoma Taisha Shrine is Ikoma's primary asset and has been designated as an intangible cultural asset.
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大入島 神の井 Ohnyu-jima kami-no-i Onyu Island Kaminoi Well

Jp En

Kaminoi is a well in Hyugadomari on Onyu Island, in Saiki Bay, Oita Prefecture. The well is submerged at high tide, but it is a spring of clear water.
Jinmu Emperor stopped at Mimitsu Port in Hyuga during his anabasis to the east. He asked the people there for water but they complained of a shortage of water on the island. Then, the Emperor struck his bow in the ground and said 'Come out, water!'. Surprisingly, clear water began to gush out. This is the origin of the Kaminoi well.

The people of Onyu Island appreciated the water and made a fire tower on the shore to see off the Emperor's ship in the night. This is said to be the origin of the Onyu Island Tondo Fire Festival. This festival is still held every January to pray for everyone's sound health. Torches, over 10m high, are set in the ground and their fierce flames give off strong light making a magnificent sight.
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