Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Ichiki Shrine, Ichiki

yato17

Ichiki Shrine is approached up a narrow road and flight of steps that run up the hillside from the Yato River. It's a fairly big shrine with a nice "3-legged" torii. The main kami enshrined here is Ichikishimahime, and its possible the village was named after the shrine. Ichikishimahime is a popular kami and the most famous shrine to her is probably Itsukushima Shrine on the World Heritage site of Miyajima, though her "home" shrine is in Munakata in Kyushu. According to the ancient myths she was created in a contest between Amaterasu and Susano. Susano took some of Amaterasu's jewels, chewed them up and spat out 5 male children. Amaterasu took Susano's sword, chewed it up and spat out Ichikishima and her 2 sisters. The girls were taken by Susano, and the boys by Amaterasu. One of the boys is the mythical ancestor of Japan's Imperial line.

yato18

There are numerous secondary shrines within the grounds, including Omoto, Konpira, and an interesting one to Kanayago, a shrine connected to iron production and blacksmithing that suggests this area was important for its iron.

yato21

From the shrine there are fine views across the valley to the ski slopes of Mizuho Highlands.

Interestingly, it is often said that Ichikishimahime is a child of Amaterasu, cutting out mention of Susano, and yet it is never said that the Imperial line is descended from Susano. One more example of the "hyping" of Amaterasu at the expense of Susano.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent photos !
    we should do a link exhcange.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails