NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/9/14


宮崎 幸福神社 Miyazaki Koufuku-jinja Kofuku Shrine in Miyazaki

Jp En

Kofuku (Good Luck and Wealth) Shrine in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, was founded in 1776 by Ibi Tomijiro, the magistrate of Hida Magistrate’s Office, which managed “tenoryo (the Tokugawa Shogunate’s landholdings)” in Hyuga province (present-day Miyazaki Prefecture) as the guardian god of the branch office in Takatomi village. The deities of shrines ranked Sho-Ichii (the 1st of the 1st) in Fushimi (in present-day Kyoto) were collectively transferred as the main deity.

Later in 1868, the minor deities of local shrines were collectively enshrined and also Okuninushi no Mikoto, Kotoshironushi, Uka no Mitama (Inari God), Sukuna Hikona no Kami, Iwanagahime no Mikoto and Sugawara no Michizane were transferred. Of the shrine name, “ko (good luck)” derives from Inari God, the god of food and agriculture and “fuku (wealth)” from Okuninushi no Mikoto, the god of wealth.

A pair of camphor trees, which are said to be several hundred years old, stand in the precinct. They are called “Meoto Kusunoki (Husband and Wife Camphor Trees),” which finely matches the shrine name. As the symbol of the shrine, they are worshipped by visitors who wish a happy life.
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2007/4/19


三嶋大社 Mishima-taisya Mishima Taisha Shrine

Jp En

Mishima Taisha Shrine is located in Omiya-cho, Mishima City, Shizuoka Pref. It enshrines Oyama Tsumi no Mikoto and Tsumihayae Kotoshironushi no Kami, who are collectively called Mishima Daimyojin. The time of its foundation is unknown, but it is said that the shrine was originally located on Miyakejima Island but was transferred later from place to place including Shimoda, Shirahama Beach and Ohito-cho before being moved to the present place. In Engishiki (codes and procedures on national rites and prayers) in the Heian period (794-1192), it is referred to as “Izu Mishima Shrine located in Kamo county (the southern part of Izu Peninsula), Izu province.” At some time later than the middle of the Heian period, present Mishima Taisha Shrine was built near the Kokufu (provincial government office) as a Shingu (a new shrine), to which the deities were transferred. Wakamiya Hachiman Shrine was originally located at this place; however, it is said, the deity of Wakamiya Hachiman yielded his territory to Mishima Myojin. Minamoto no Yoritomo had worshipped Mishima Taisha since he was exiled to Izu province and continued to pay reverence to it after he established the Kamakura Shogunate. The old calendar issued by this shrine in the Middle Ages was known all over the nation as “Mishima Calendar.”
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2007/1/25


十日恵比寿神社 Touka-ebisu-jinja Toka Ebisu Jinja Shrine

Jp En

Toka Ebisu Jinja Shrine enshrines Ebisu (God of Fishermen, Good Luck and one of the Seven Gods of Fortune) and Daikoku (one of the Seven Gods of Fortune), and is located in Hakata-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture.

Takeuchi Goemon, from a money-lending branch of the Kashigu Daiguji family, was a merchant from Hakata. In 1591, he happened upon a statue of the god Ebisu washed up on Kashi beach. Takeuchi took the statue home and seeing that he treasured and cherished the statue, his family fortune flourished considerably.

Word spread about the statue and many people came to worship it as the God of Prosperity in Business. By 1690, there were so many worshippers and believers, that a shrine, now known as the Toka Ebisu Jinja, was established. The shrine deities are Kotoshironushi-no-Kami (Ebisu) and Okuninushi-no-Kami (Daikoku). These gods are known to provide prosperity in business, safety for families, and good health.

From 8 to 11 January, a New Year Grand Festival takes place each year at the Toka Ebisu Jinja, during which approximately a million people come and visit the shrine. The Kachi-mairi, a famed event where 'geiji' (women performers) walk in a line to the shrine while singing the 'Toka Ebisu no Uta' song and playing shamisens, flutes and drums, is both elegant and magnificent. This annual event is held to invoke better fortune and prosperity in business throughout the year.
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2007/1/6


美保神社 Miho-jinja Miho shrine

Jp En

Miho Shrine is  in Matsue, Shimane Prefecture and is dedicated to two deities, Mihotsuhimenomikoto and  Kotoshironushinokami. Miho Shrine is built in a special way called ‘Miho tsukuri (Miho construction)’ also know as ‘Hiyoku Taisha tsukuri’ and is unique in the way it arranges two ‘Taisha Tsukuri’ (an architectural style for shrines). Another reason why the Miho shrine is distinctive from other shrines is that it uses thick boards of cypress bark shingles (called ‘Tomogawa-jyabara’) and assembles them in layers by nails made out of bamboo to create the shrine’s roof. (This type of roof is called ‘Hiwadabuki’.) Both the Tomogawa-jyabara and the Hiwadabuki are designated Important Cultural Properties. Mihotsuhimenomikoto is Ookuninushi’s (another Shinto deity) queen and is the guardian goddess of agriculture and enduring prosperity. Kotoshironushinokami is the first prince of Ookuninushi and is the guardian of occupations such as fishing and commerce. Miho Shrine is also the head office for a total of 3,385 Ebisu companies around Japan and is respected by people in the fishing and shipping business. A total of 846 musical instruments have been dedicated to the Miho Shrine and have been designated  Important National Folk Cultural Properties. The instruments include the oldest accordion in Japan; a shamisen (a three-stringed Japanese instrument) used by the first Ogieroyu (a famous musician during the Edo era) and many other rare and valuable artifacts.
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