Like almost every shrine I have visited in this part of Izumo, Iya Shrine has an altar to the land kami Kojin. Most shrines have one, but some have more. Iya has two which suggest that before the government mandated shrine closures of the early twentieth Century these altars would have been out in the hamlets.
Like the Kojins at Adakaya Shrine, which I will be revisiting on the next day of this pilgrimage walk, these kojin have quite large heads. In the above photo you can see the tongue sticking out.
Two rings of bamboo represent the eyes. These may not be the grandest Kojin Ive come across but they are impressive. The amount of work that has gone into their creation and the sheer number of gohei planted in front of them is a clear indication of their importance to the local people.
I have done a lot of research on the similar kami in my region, known as Omoto, and I really want to contact some people up here in Izumo and find out more about Kojin and any differences there are from Omoto.