Thursday, March 24, 2016

Yama Shrine, Irinaka


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Located just a couple of hundred meters from the Okazaki Shrine, but at the base of the hills on the opposite bank of the small river and therefore part of traditionally a different community, is the aptly name Yama (mountain) Shrine.

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It was now late morning on the first day of my walk along the Chugoku Pilgrinage and after visiting the first temple of the pilgrimage I was taking a detour to visit a site just to the north. The village of Irinaka lies on the Sanyo-do, the old road that ran along the southern coast that the modern Route 2 roughly follows.

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Bizen, the old province name, is famous for its Bizenware ceramics, and the two komainu flanking the entrance to the shrine were made of it. The shed skin of a snake was draped over one.

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There was no information on the kami enshrined here but I suspect it was just the local ujigami/yamagami. The two smaller shrines I suspect were moved here from nearby when the government "consolidated" shrine 100 years ago.

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