Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bentenjima Shrine

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The small shrine on Bentenjima (Benten Island) enshrines the female kami/goddess Benten, sometimes known as Benzaiten. Associated with water, and sometimes equated with Ichikishimahime, Benzaiten is the only female among the seven lucky gods of Japan.

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Originally the Hindu Goddess Saraswati, introduced into Japan through Buddhist sutras, so one can find both shinto shrines and buddhist temples dedicated to her.

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Benten Island itself is actually just a big rock on Inasa beach, and in the Kuniyuzuri myth the rock was thrown here by Takemikazuchi while engaged in a competition of strength with one of Okuninushi's sons.

iz23

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