Monday, December 30, 2013

Kanbara Shrine & Tomb


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Kanbara Shrine is a little further down the river from Unochi Shrine, but was until recently about a hundred meters from its current location. It was moved when they discovered it had been built on top of a kofun, a mounded tomb....

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The three main kami enshrined here are Okuninushi, Iwatsutsuwo, & Iwatsutsune, the latter two being the parents of Futsunushi, the kami from the Kuniyuzuri Myth who arranged the transfer of Japan to Amaterasu's descendants from Okuninushi.

iz950

Among the grave goods found in the excavated tomb was a bronze mirror dated 239, which was the year the legendary "queen of Wa" Himiko sent an envoy to China and received one hundred bronze mirrors.

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The design of the mirror found here was the one that has been called Himiko Mirrors, but more than 100 have been found. Doing a bit of research for this post I read a convincing argument by one historian that these mirrors were manufactured in Japan by immigrant Chinese craftsmen.

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I have often read that "shinto" has an aversion to death, but in western Japan at least I have found quite a few shrines that have been constructed on top of tombs.

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