NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/6/15


榛名神社 Haruna-jinja Haruna Shrine

Jp En

Haruna Shrine in Harunasan-cho, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture is a historic shrine located in Mt. Haruna. The enshrined deities are Homusubi no Kami and Haniyamahime no Kami. It is one of the Six Shrines in Kozuke province (present-day Gunma Prefecture). It is said that the shrine was founded during the reign of the 2nd emperor Suizei (reigned 581-549 B.C.) and the shrine building was built in 586.

As the god of rainfall and the holy place for mountain practitioners, it has been visited by a lot of worshippers since the ancient times. From the Nanbokucho Period (1336-1392) onward, it had been affiliated with Ueno Kaneiji Temple in Edo, but according to the separation of Buddhism and Shinto during the Meiji period, the Buddhist colors were discontinued and it was restored to the original shrine.

With a national Natural Monument “Yatate Cedar Tree,” at which Takeda Shingen shot an arrow to pray for his victory and the huge Misugata-Iwa Rock behind the main hall, the precinct is filled with solemn atmosphere.

The six buildings including Honden (the main hall), Haiden (the oratory) and Heiden (the votive offerings hall) are designated as national Important Cultural Properties, and an iron lantern, the Sangaku (Japanese methematical votive tablet) of the Seki school and the documents concerning the shrine are designated as prefectural Important Cultural Properties.
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2007/2/15


墨坂神社 Sumisaka-jinjya Sumisaka Shrine

Jp En

Sumisaka Shrine is located along the Uda River in Haibara-ku, Uda, in Nara Prefecture. The shrine used to be located on the west path of the Amanomori (Forest of the Heavens) of Sumisaka, but, in 1499, it was transferred to its present site.

Until the Meiji period, the Amano Temple deified both Buddhist and Shinto gods, giving it alternative names such as Rokusha Gongen and Amano Shrine. The present enshrined deity is the Sumisaka Omiwa God, which is a generic name for the six pillars of the Amenominakanushinokami, Takamimusubinokami, Kamimusubinokami, Izanakinokami, Izanaminokami and the Omononushinokami. Legends told that during Emperor Sujin's imperial reign, an epidemic spread across his empire. However, if the sick person deified the god that appeared in their dreams, which was the Sumisaka Omiwa God, their illness would be cured instantly.

Every year in November, a festival called the Sumisaka Togyo Gyoretsu takes place, where a mikoshi (portable shrine) is carried, along with a red shield and red sword, from Sumisaka Shrine at its current location to its prior location in the Amanomori (Forest of the Heavens).
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2007/2/14


高天彦神社 Takamahiko-jinjya Takamahiko Shrine

Jp En

Takamahiko Shrine is located on the hillside of Mt Kongo of Gose in Nara Prefecture. It enshrines the deity Takamisubi no Mikoto (also called Takamahiko no Kami), which is known as the ancient god of the Katsuragi clan.

Mt Shirakumonomine (694m) is worshiped as a sacred mountain. In legend, it is a place where gods descend.

Beside the pathway to the shrine, there are many gigantic cedars that give the atmosphere of old Japan. One of the trees along the pathway is named Oshukubai Tree after a story about a priest. The priest was grieving over the death of a young child, when a falconine flew onto the tree and sang a song for the priest. In spring the tree bursts into beautiful bloom.
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