NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/8/10


勝手神社 Katte-jinjya Katte Shrine

Jp En

Katte Shrine located in Yoshinoyama, Yoshino-cho, Nara Pref. is one of the eight Myojin shrines in Yoshino. It enshrines Oyama Tsumi no Kami and Konohanasakuya-hime no Mikoto. Legend has it that in 672, when Prince Oama (later enthroned as Emperor Tenmu), who had stayed in Yoshino and gathered an army to battle with the crown prince, was playing the Japanese harp in front of the hall at this temple, a heavenly maiden appeared and showed him a lucky omen.
It is also said that in 1185, when Shizuka Gozen, who parted with Minamoto no Yoshitsune in Mt. Yoshino, was caught by the pursuers, she performed elegant dance in front of the hall at this shrine to make time for her husband to escape.
The main hall was once destroyed by fire and restored in 1776, but in 2005 it was burned down again by the fire of suspicious origin. Presently, only a part of wooden structure remains and there is little possibility of the restoration of this important cultural property.
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2007/8/3


小園臼太鼓踊り Kozono-usu-daiko-odori Kozono Usudaiko Odori

Jp En

Kozono Usudaiko Odori is a folk performing art dedicated at the autumn festival of Kadokawa Shrine in Kadokawa Town, Miyazaki Prefecture in November every year.

Kadokawa Shrine was founded in 1530 as the guardian god of the people and livestock of the area. The enshrined deities are Ukemochi no Kami, Okuninushi no Mikoto, Oyamatsumi no Kami and Sarutahiko no Mikoto. At the autumn festival, after the events such as the rice cake throwing and the parade of the mikoshi (portable shrine) and the children’s mikoshi, the valiant Kozono Usudaiko Odori dance starts at around 7:00 PM.

It is said that the origin of this dance is the cerebration dance for victory at the time of the Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Korean invasion in the 16th century. On the festival day, the dance starts with the sounds of Japanese bells to call up soldiers. Performing static and dynamic dances to the chant telling of the war, dancers express every scene of the battles.
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2007/3/15


静岡 山住神社 Shizuoka Yamazumi-jinjya Shizuoka Yamazumi Shrine

Jp En

Yamazumi Shrine located in Yamazumi, Mizukubo-cho, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Pref. is a shrine with a long history of Wolf Worship. It is said that the shrine was founded in 709, when Oyamazu no Kami, or generally called Yamazumi Daigongen, was invited here from Iyo province (present-day Matsuyama Pref.). Enshrined together are Kotosakao no Mikoto, Izanami no Mikoto and Hayatamao no Mikoto. Yamazumi Shrine is famous for its wolf cult. When Tokugawa Ieyasu took refuge in a mountain to escape from the attack of the Takeda clan, the mountain suddenly began to quake and he heard great roaring of a wolf, which drove away the enemy. Because of this, it is said, Ieyasu paid great respect for this shrine. Around 1700, Yamazumi Daizennosuke, the chief priest of this shrine, planted 360,000 cedar and zelkova trees in as long as 40 years to improve the rough mountain. Now Mt. Yamazumi is full of fine trees. In the precinct are two sacred cedar trees, which are over 1,200 years old.
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