Saturday, December 8, 2012

Omiwa Shrine, Tokushima


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Coming to the end of my fourth day on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, between temple 17 and 18 it began to rain so I took shelter in this large shrine.

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It is believed to be a branch shrine of the famous Omiwa Shrine in Nara, though it was written with different kanji, but the main kami is Onamuchi, more commonly known as Okuninushi, the main kami of the Nara Omiwa Shrine.

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It is an old shrine, being listed in the Tenth Century Engishiki, and it is also a "soja", a shrine where the local government official gathered together all the shrines of a district into one site so he didnt have to travel around to visit them annually.

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Small shrines like this surrounded by water are usuallky a Suijin or Benten shrine. This one is an Enoshim-sha, the main kami of Enoshima Jinja being Benten.

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The second kami enshrined here is Oyamakui, one of the kami of Hietaisha, a grandson of Susano, and known to be a kami worshipped by immigrant clans in ancient Japan. Interestingly, to me at leat, that the two main kami are both Izumo kami.

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