Monday, April 21, 2014

Ayo Shrine


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Ayo Shrine is a small village shrine at the base of the mountain on which is located Rengeji, the 14th temple on the Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage. The two kami enshrined here are Susano and Kunitokotachi. Susano is well known and prevalent throughout this area, but this was the first time I encountered Kunitokotachi.

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Which is actually kind of surprising since Kunitokotachi was the first kami to come into existence. Out of chaos heaven and earth separated and in the space between Kunitokotachi emerged out of "something like a reed". That is according to 4 sources in the Nihonshoki. In the Kojiki,  Amenominakanushi was first, and when the Kojiki was revived in the 19th Century Amenominakanushi started to receive more attention. It is generally believed that the first stories in the ancient myths concerned with the creation of the universe are Chinese in origin.

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The shrine has a fine example of Izumo-style shimenawa and a nice ancient tree.

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