Saturday, March 5, 2011

East Well Shrine

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When we came out of the Nagashibina Doll Museum in Mochigase I spied a little splash of autumn colors across the valley and suspected it might be a shrine. I was right.

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The name might be Higashii Shrine, or it might be Toi Shrine, so to be on the safe side I use its name translated into English, East Well Shrine.

The main kamis are Susano and Myoken Daimyojin. Daimyojin means "great Shining Deity" and is an appelation applied to many kami, eg Kasuga Daimyojin, Inari Daimyojin, etc. Myoken, like many gods and kami in Japan has a long and complex history, but is a primarily known in its esoteric buddhist form as the god of the Pole Star and Big Dipper. With the seperation of buddhas and kami in the Meiji era most places enshrining Myoken changed its name to Ame no Minakanushi, so the use of the name Myoken here may have been a return to the old name in the postwar period.

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There were a couple of secondary shrines within the grounds including this one to Inari.

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The priests house was empty and abandoned, and behind it a small untended garden that would have looked good in its prime.

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