Saturday, October 9, 2010

Koikui Shrine

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Koikui is a small shrine just off the Kibi Bike Path.

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It has a fine pair of Bizen-style ceramic komainu. It also had a buddhist bell.

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Koikui means "carp eating" and refers to the mythical events that took place at this spot.

One of the most well-known folk tales in Japan is Momotaro, the Peach Boy, and it is partly based on a much older story of Kibitsuhiko.

This area was ruled over by a demon, said to be a king from Kudara (Paekche in what is now called Korea). Prince Kibitsuhiko was sent by the Yamato to defeat this demon. During the battle the demon transformed himself into a carp and swam away. Kibitsuhiko turned into a cormorant and caught the carp and killed it at the spot where the shrine now stands.

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