Thursday, May 26, 2011

Vacation 2011 Day1: Sumiyoshi Shrine

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The last part of my first day of vacation I was in Hakata and I visited the Sumiyoshi Shrine there.

The head Sumiyoshi Shrine is in Osaka, but the one in Hakata is believed to be the original one.

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The main kami are Sokotsutsuo-no-kami, Nakatsutsuo-no-kami and Uwatsutsuo-no-kami, which are kami connected with navigation and safe travel by sea. the mythical "Empress" Jingu is also now enshrined here as the myths say she received oracles from the Sumiyoshi Kami before her mythical "conquest" of Korea.

I recently read that the 3 kami were originally aspects of the undersea Dragon King, a kami long associated with distant lands.

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Travellers and emissaries going from Yamato to Korea and China would first stop at the Sumiyoshi Taisha in Naniwa (Osaka) and then visit other Sumiyoshi Shrines along the Inland Sea until finally leaving from Hakata.

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Its a nice oasis of green in an otherwise built-up area and has some fine Zuijin and komainu.

There is a secondary shrine to Amaterasu in the grounds, and an Ebisu shrine in front.

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As a major shrine it is able to employ Miko.

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Behind the main hall are 2 Inari shrines.

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