NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/3/13


蜻蛉の滝 Seirei-no-taki The Seirei Water fall

Jp En

The Seirei Waterfall with a height of 50 m is located in Otaki, Kamikawa-mura, Yoshino-gun, Nara Pref. The waterfall flows down the Otonashi River, which spring out of Aonegamine Peak rising 858 m above sea level, runs into the Yoshino River and then into the Kinogawa River, and finally empties into the Kii Channel. Legend has it that when Emperor Yuryaku (A.D. 418-479) enjoyed hunting in this mountain, a large horsefly came flying and bit him on the elbow. At this moment, however, a dragonfly appeared from nowhere and killed the horsefly, which the emperor greatly applauded and named the place “Akitsuno (the field of dragonflies).” As a rainbow is always over the waterfall due to the sun shining onto splashes of water, the area around the waterfall is also called “Nijikko (the rainbow light).” Being referred to in Manyoshu (Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves), the Seirei Waterfall is a scenic beauty with a long history.
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2007/2/14


一言主神社 Hitokoto-nushi-jinjya Hitokotonushi Shrine

Jp En

Hitokotonushi Shrine is located on Mt Katsuragi in Gose, Nara Prefecture. The real name of the shrine is Katsuragi Niimasu Hitokotonushi Shrine. The god Hitokotonushi is enshrined here.

There is a legend that when an emperor climbed Mt Katsuragi, Hitokotonushi appeared and preached to the emperor. The emperor then offered items such as weapons and clothing to the god. The local people call the god Hitokoto-san because it is believed that the god can grant their wishes.

Within the shrine precincts stands a large gingko tree called Nyu-Gingko, which is some 1200 years old. There is a legend that this gingko brings good luck to children. It is also said it can improve a woman's milk.
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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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2007/1/18


都久夫須麻神社 Tukuhushima-jinjya Tsukubusuma Shrine

Jp En

Tsukubusuma Shrine is located on Tsukubujima (or Chikubujima), a small 2km-round island in Lake Biwa, Nagahama District, in Shiga prefecture.

This small shrine was originally established in 420 for the deity Asaihime-no-mikoto. In 'Ōmi Fudoki' it is recorded that Tatamihiko-no-Makoto of Mt Ibuki, together with Asaihime-no-mikoto of Mt Asai, had a climbing competition. The outraged loser, Tatamihiko-no-mikoto, chopped off Asai-no-mikoto's head, which became Tsukubu Island. It is believed that as the island head was sinking, it made the sound 'tsuku tsuku', hence the island's name Tsukubujima. Another story relates that the island was named after a bamboo (chiku), which was the first plant that grew there.

The shrine is counted as one of the 'three-major Benzaiten' in Japan, and is also believed to be the oldest in Japan. The main building is beautifully sited in front of Lake Biwa. Ryushinjin Haisho, or the main shrine is located on the cliff. There is a custom that by throwing crockery from this place, the Ryushin (dragon god) will grant your wish. The main shrine is designated as an important cultural asset.
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