Friday, August 21, 2009

Anasenimasu Shrine

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Anasenimasu Shrine, or Anashiniimasu in its alternate reading, is one of the oldest shrines in Yamato, and yet little is known for sure about it,... most references to it include lots of "maybe"'s.

It's located up the valley a little behind the Sumo Shrine, just off the Yamanobenomichi, and seems to be connected to Emperor Suinin.

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The 3 kami housed in the unusual triple honden are Hyouzugami, Wakamitama, and Daihyouzu. Each is associated with the imperial regalia, the sword, mirroe, and jewels.

Some sources equate the 3 with Susano, Kushinadahime, and Onamuchi, 3 Izumo kami.

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The main kami, Hyouzu is believed to be the ancient Chinese god, Chi-You, considered to be the ancestor of the Han chinese as well as the Koreans. He was a god of war with associations with metal and weapons, and to have had an Ox's head. Interesting that Susano, in Izumo at least, is associated with metal and weapons, and came to be equated with Gozutenno, the Oxhead king originally a Hindu god, but brought into Japan through Korea. Gozutenno is the original kami at the shrine now known as Yasaka in Gion.

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