Sunday, March 25, 2012

Kumano Shrine, Awa City


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The Kuman shrine in Awa City is located about halfway between Anrakuji and Jurakuji, temples 6 and 7 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage. There are about 3,000 Kumano shrines all over Japan and they are branch shrines of the famous Kumano Sanzan, the three shrine complexes in Wakayama. Kumano was a major cultic center in medieval times and the yamabushi from there spread all over Japan. The Kumano deities are linked with many of the temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage and the Kumano yamabushi seem to have created some of what later became the 88 temple pilgrimage.

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The shrine had an unusual pair of zuijin. Normally they are represented in a seated position in armor and with bows and arrows, but here they were standing in robes. I have seen this style only once before in Kunisaki.

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Also unusual was the walkway to the shrine buildings were covered. I have seen this before in Okayama.

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A sessha (sub shrine) in the grounds had an unusual pair of ceramic komainu. The open mouth of one was stuffed full of 1 yen coins.

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