Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kasuga Shrine, Hagi


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The Kasuga Shrine in Hagi is located on the southern edge of the old samurai district and is one of the approximately 3000  branches of the famous Kasuga Taisha in Nara which is the family shrine of the Fujiwara Family, arguably the most powerful family in Japan for many centuries.

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Though most common nowadays, stone komainu were a later feature and were preceded by wooden ones inside the shrine building or later in the zuijinmon.

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By the side of the shrine building is an old chinowa, a ring used for purification. usually in the spring a new one will be made and erected in front of the shrine and parishioners will pass through it.

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The main kami enshrined here are the same 4 as Kasuga Taisha, Amenokoyane, Takemikazuchi, Futsunushi, both of whom took part in kuniyuzuri, and Himegami, which seems to be a generic name for consorts of male kami. According to Izumo records only Futsunushi came to Izumo for the kuniyuzuri.

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The signboard also lists another kami that I had not heard of before:- Iwatsutsuno-o, who, like Takemikazuchi was formed from the blood left on the sword Izanagi used to slay the fire god with.

There were some secondary shrines in the grounds but the signboard gave no details....

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