Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sohachiman Shrine


Located in Nakanuki, near Sone in Minamikokura, Sohachiman shrine is quite a popular shrine in the area and is known particularly for prayers for a long life and also for enmusubi, finding a partner.


As a Hachiman shrine the main kami enshrined here is listed as Homuda Wake, the name of Emperor Ojin, but unlike most other hachiman shrines it does not list his mother, or father, or wife. It does however enshrine the three Munakata goddesses, Takirihime (Tagorihime), Ichikishimahime, and Takitsuhime.


However the main focus for visitors to the shrine is a massive boulder, split in two, called Suzuiwa, which enshrines the goddess Iwanagahime, one of two daughters of Oyamatsumi offered to Ninigi, the grandson of Amaterasu and mythical ancestor of the imperial line.


Ninigi rejected here because she was not as pretty as her sister, and in response she vowed that from now on the lives of the emperors as well as all other humans would be as brief as the blossoming of the cherry blossoms. This is why she is prayed to for longevity. The fact that the rock is split into two parts, one male the other female, is the reason people come here to pray for enmusubi.


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