Friday, November 8, 2013

Kotohira-gu, Izumo bunsha


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After visiting Rendaiji, the sixth temple on the Izumo 33 Kannon pilgrimage I headed to the nearest train station in Naoe to head home, stopping in at the Konpira Shrine in the middle of the village.

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Its now called a Kotohira-gu, which was the new name given to the kami Konpira in the Meiji era to disassociate it from its Buddhist identity. The main Konpira Shrine on Shikoku was one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations of the Edo period with millions of pilgrims travelling to Shikoku and often bringing back the "spirit" of the kami to enshrine in their local villages. This one in Naoe however was not established until 1880.

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At the same time as renaming the kami it was given new identities more suitable for the national shinto that was in the process of being created. Hirata Atsutane had a hand in establishing the "true" identity of Kotohira as a manifestation of Okuninushi (Omononushi) and also the 12th Century Emperor Sutoku.

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There are several smaller shrines in the grounds including a Harae-do, a Manasa shrine, a Hachiman shrine and this Inari Shrine.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm fascinated with the Fox. I was visiting a big shrine complex in Tokyo years ago and sw a very smartly dressed and coiffed and shod Japanese lady visiting the Kitsune shrine -- it seems like one of the few if not only animistic characters. I still haven't learned much about kitsune, but I do like the noodles.

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