Saturday, March 28, 2015

Takada Hachimangu


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Being a mask maker myself, one of the things I am always hoping to find in my explorations of shrines are masks, so I was absolutely delighted to discover these masks in Takada Hachimangu.

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Located in a small mountain settlement at the base of Mount Sanbe, the highest mountains in Iwami, the hachimangu is a fairly standard village shrine.

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About a hundred years ago the government closed down half the shrines in the country, so probably there were more shrines in this village that had their kami moved here, but there was no sign so I was unable to find out. As a Hachimangu it enshrines primarily Hachiman.

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Like many shrines in remote areas it was not locked so I was able to look inside.

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The masks were a revelation because they were in a style I am not familiar with. Though in Iwami they are not in Iwami kagura style. As I explored more shrines later in the day I found many more examples of this style.

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