Monday, December 29, 2008
Setogashima is a tiny island in the harbor of Hamada. The Itsukushima shrine is the only shrine on the island. The three sisters enshrined here (daughters of Susano) are known to be protectors of fishermen, so Itsukushima shrines are common in fishing villages.
The 3 home shrines of the Munakata sisters are located in north west Kyushu, one on the mainland, and the other 2 on 2 small islands. The Munakata clan were responsible for protecting the sea lanes between Kyushu and the Korean peninsular.
The shrine has no secondary shrines within its precincts, and no kagura den, so for matsuri they use the nearby Shimoyama Inari Shrine. The channel seperating Setogashima from the mainland is only a stones throw wide, so a small bridge connects it, but still a huge multi-million dollar bridge was constructed.
It's actually a very quiet, picturesque fishing village of a few dozen houses, and as one of the main harvests in this area is squid, it's not surprising to see squid drying in the sun.