31/12/2017

Welcome !

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Welcome to visit shrines and temples of Japan !

Take a virtual walk through Japanese culture, with haiku as a special treat.

Check the ABC - CONTENTS on the right side!
They provide the glossary of technical terms, keywords and other items you are looking for.



Kokubun-Ji, Tsuyama, Okayama


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General Information

. Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) . - - - Shinto Shrein
..... miya, guu 宮
..... honguu 本宮 Hongu, main shrine
..... taisha 大社 big shrine, Grand Shrine
..... yashiro, sha 社 (small) shrine etc.

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .



. Buddhist Temple (tera, ...ji 寺) . - - - Buddhistischer Tempel
crossroad temple, tsujidoo 辻堂
temple hall, hall, doo 堂


. Pilgrimages in Japan - Introduction .


WASHOKU - Temple and Shrine Food  

. Sake Legends and Shinto Shrines 酒と神社 .


. Kami, Hotoke and Haiku - the beginning .

. - Shrines visited by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - .

. - Temples visited by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - .

. - Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶  visiting shrines and temples - .

. - Shrines visited by Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 - .   

. - Temples visited by Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 - .   

. - Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規 visiting shrines and temples - .


Apart from shrines and temples, this BLOG concentrates on introducing terminology of the Shinto background,
with haiku to go.
Unless mentioned otherwise, the translations are done by myself.


Gabi Greve
Daruma Museum Japan, Spring 2013


under construction, please come back often!
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- - - - - ABC-LIST - - - - -

- AAA - / - BBB - / - CCC - / - DDD - / - EEE -

- FFF - / - GGG - / - HHH - / - I I I - / - JJJ -

- KK KK - / - LLL - / - MMM - / - NNN - / - OOO -

- PPP - / - QQQ - / - RRR - / - SSS - / - TTT -

- UUU - / - VVV - / - WWW - / - XYZ -

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- on facebook -

. Japan Shinto Shrines - Facebook .

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10/03/2017

Yanegami on the roof

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. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
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Yanegami 屋根神 Deity on the Roof
Yanegamisama 屋根神様


A small shrine on the roof, mostly of a merchant, to protect the estate and the shop.
Mostly seen in Aichi and Gifu.



A small shrine sits on the lowest roof under the eaves. It is usually holding an amulet from 秋葉神社 Akiba Jinja to protect against fire and misfortune. Other amulets may be from Ise Jingu or 津島神社 Tsushima Shrine. In Nagoya it is often from 熱田神宮 Atsuta Jingu.
Other local names are 秋葉さん Akiba San or お天王さん O-Tenno-San.
軒神さま Nokigami sama, 氏神さん Ujigamisan
町の神さま Machi no Kamisama, 町内神社 Chonai Jinja (Shrine of the village)

Since it is difficult to climb up to the eaves for prayer and rituals, many of these shrines have been re-located inside the home, near the entrance.

The regular rituals are held by the village community, small interest groups or just one family.
In Nagoya there are groups with more than 100 families.
Regular rituals are held at the New Year and each month on the 1st and 15th day, usually from early morning to late afternoon, when the offerings are taken down to be eaten at home.
People climb on the ladder and offer vegetables and fruit on a special tray. Some hang a violet curtain around the Shrine. Others hang a lantern on these days.
Very seldom an official Shinto priest is called to perform the rituals. Sometimes even a Buddhist priest or Yamabushi mountain priest can be called.

There are not many old records about the Yanegami. Maybe people hoped that the higher up the shrine was, the better their prayers would reach the Deity.


. Tsushima Jinja 津島神社 and the Tsushima Festival .



- quote -
Tsushima Shrine (津島神社 Tsushima Jinja) is a Shinto shrine in Tsushima, Aichi Prefecture.
Nationally famous, it heads the Tsushima shrine network, dedicated to the so-called Tsushima Cult (津島信仰 Tsushima Shinkō). This Tōkai-centered network with its about-3,000-member shrines is the tenth-largest in the country.
The main kami of this faith are Gozutennō (牛頭天王 lit. ox-headed heaven king), the god of pestilences, and Susanoo, two deities which have been conflated together.
For this reason, like other shrines of the network it is also called Tsushima Gozutennō-sha (津島牛頭天王社 lit. Tsushima Gozutennō Shrine).
Shrine legend says that Gozutennō's aramitama (its violent side) stays at Izumo-taisha, whereas its nigemitama (calm aspect) came to Japan from the Korean peninsula after stopping in Tsushima Island, between Korea and Japan. This may explain the relationship between the two Tsushimas suggested by the common name.
The shrine holds a festival called Tsushima Matsuri (津島祭り) in the sixth month of the lunar calendar (July in the Gregorian calendar) during which boats called danjiri (車楽) are floated on the Tennō River, and reeds are released into the water.
The shrine is built in the local owari-zukuri style, of which few extant examples remain.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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- quote
An interesting feature on a warehouse is the rooftop shrine, called Yanegami (屋根神).
This rooftop deity honours Tsushima, Akiba and Atsuta Shrines. A small altar erected on the roof is a Nagoya custom. It is a means to ward off disease and disasters, and reflects the great devotion of ordinary people.
- source : Shike-michi (四間道) in Nagoya / wikipedia -

. yane 屋根 roof and roof tiles .
Introduction

. ujigami 氏神 clan or village deities .

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屋根神様の種類 - Different types of Yanegami shrines
- reference source : sogo-multi.net/2011/yanegami -

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- reference : 屋根神 wikipedia
- Reference : 屋根神
- Reference : yanegami roof


. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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- #yanegami #tsushimashrine -
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06/03/2017

Fukuo Shrine Mie

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. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
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Fukuo Jinja 福王神社 Fukuo Shrine, Mie


三重郡菰野町大字田口 / Taguchi, Komono, Mie District, Mie

The shrine is located up on a steep slope, the 天狗坂 Tengusaka. It was established more than 1200 years ago by 聖徳太子 Prince Shotoku Taishi to venerate Bishamonten.
The main days of rituals are on days with a 3, where many people come to venerate.
During the time of 敏達天皇 Emperor Bitatsu Tenno (538 - 585), a statue carver named 安阿弥 Annami came from 百済 Kudara, Korea, and carved the statue of Bishamonten. Shotoku Taishi later placed it here to pray for the safety of the country and to protect shrine 伊勢神宮 Ise Jingu.



There are many very old sugi 杉 cedar trees in the compound.
One of them, said to be more than 1000 years old, is the sacred 太子杉 Taishi Sugi.
The forest around the temple used to belong to the 桑名藩 Kuwana domain.
Nearby there was also the famous cedar tree Tengu sugi 天狗杉 Tengu cedar in the Kuwana forest, but this cedar does not exist any more.


- - - - - Deity in residence - - - - -
毘沙門天王 Bishamonten-O



. Bishamon-Ten . 毘沙門天 Vaishravana .


. 聖徳太子 Prince Shotoku Taishi .

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Mount 福王山 Fukuosan is famous for its Tengu legends and there are various Tengu statues on the access road.


猿田彦神 Sarutahiko

. Sarutahiko no Ookami 猿田彦大神 the Great Deity Sarutahiko .



The top of the mountain is rather flat and the local people called it
Tengu no Odori Koba 天狗の踊り小場 Small place for the Tengu to dance.



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Tengu Soba 天狗そば Tengu Soba Buckwheat noodles




Tengu Saka 天狗坂 Tengu Slope Bicycle Race

. Tengupedia - 天狗ペディア - Tengu ABC-List.

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shuin 朱印 stamp





omamori お守り amulets






- - - - - HP of the Shrine
Look at many photos, all the way up to the uppermost shrine.
- source : jummy1015.blog91.fc2.com -

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Yearly Festivals 年中行事



春の大祭 Great Spring Festival
秋の大祭 Great Autumn Festival

Tengu Oharai, O-harai 天狗おはらい Tengu Purification Ritual / 天狗のお払い at Setsubun



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- Reference : 三重県菰野町 / 福王神社


. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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- #fukuojinja -
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28/01/2017

Kaitei Underwater Shrine and Susaki

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. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
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Kaitei Jinja 海底神社 Underwater Shrine, Chiba
千葉県館山市「波左間海中公園」 / Tateyama town, Hasama Underwater Park



This shrine is located under water in Hasama Underwater Park, about 600 meters from the beach, at an underwater elevation called 高根 Takane.

The building is about 3.5 m high. The Torii gate is about 18 meters deep in the water.
The shrine building is 12 meters deep in the water.
To visit the shrine, people need diving equipment.

It is a sub-shrine of 洲崎神社 Susaki Jinja and was constructed with the wish and prayers to prevent water damage and accidents at sea by a local diving shop in July 1997.

The shimenawa しめ縄飾り sacred rope is made by the divers from plastic rope and renewed every year for the New Year rituals. The priest also has to use a diving suit to get there for the annual service.

It is said to be the only underwater shrine in Japan.
“日本で唯一の海底神社”


- - - - - HP of the underwater Shrine (水中神社)
- source : www5e.biglobe.ne.jp/~o_hasama/jinja -

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Susaki Jinja 洲崎神社 (Sunosaki Jinja)
千葉県館山市洲崎1697 / Chiba, Tateyama, Susaki (Suzaki)
洲宮神社 Sunomiya Jinja



It used to be the shrine 安房国一宮 Ichinomiya of Awa no Kuni.
It was built in 807.

- - - - - Deities in residence - - - - -
天比理乃咩命 Amenohirinome no Mikoto
formerly called 洲ノ神(すさきのかみ) Susaki no Kami (Sunosaki)
(天比理刀咩命 (あめのひりとめのみこと) Amenohiritome no Mikoto)


天太玉命(あめのふとだまのみこと)Amenofutodama no Mikoto
天富命(あめのとみのみこと)Amenotomi no Mikoto

- quote -
Taokihooi 手置帆負命 Taokihooi no kami
Ancestral kami (sojin) of the Inbe clan.
A kami related to the manufacture of shrine structures and implements. According to Kogo shūi, Taokihooi was ancestor of the Inbe of Sanuki (present-day Kagawa Prefecture). Together with Hikosashiri no mikoto, he was directed by Futodama (offspring of Takamimusuhi) to fabricate the "heavenly measures," "divine palace," and various military implements used to lure Amaterasu from the rock cave of heaven where she had hidden.

Under the leadership of Futodama's descendant Amenotomi no mikoto,
the descendants of Taokihooi and Hikosashiri no mikoto for the first time used sacred axes and adzes to cut mountain timber for the construction of Jinmu's main palace at Kashihara, and thereafter worked as fabricators of spear shafts. An "alternate writing" related by Nihongi states that in exchange for Ōmononushi's agreement to "transfer the land" (kuniyuzuri), Takamimusuhi vowed to provide Ōmononushi with eternal worship, and among the celebrants assigned to perform rites is listed one Taokihooi, ancestral kami of the Inbe of Kii (makers of sedge hats).
- source : Mori Mizue - kokugakuin -

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shuin 朱印 stamp





- - - - - HP of the Shrine
- source : sunosaki.info-

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Yearly Festivals 年中行事

The main Festival around August 20.
みのこ踊り奉納 Minoko Odori dance ritual


- CLICK for more photos !

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Cape Suno (洲崎 Suno-saki)
is a cape on the Pacific Ocean, in the city of Tateyama, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
The cape is located at the southwestern point of Bōsō Peninsula on the island of Honshu, and marks the point between the inner and outer parts of the peninsula.
Cape Sunosaki is home to the Sunosaki Shrine, which was historically the supreme shrine (Ichinomiya) of Awa Province. By tradition it was built early in the Nara period.
The Sunosaki Shrine dance, the Sunosaki-odori, performed during religious observances at the shrine in June and August, is designated a national-level Intangible Cultural Property of Japan.
Yōrō-ji, a nearby Buddhist temple within the Sunosaki District of Tateyama, is historically closely linked with the Sunosaki Shrine.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

The tidal current at Sunomisaki is very fast and called 潮の道 "road of the sea". The fishermen are very afraid of this place.
The ghosts of shipwrecked fishermen come home along this path and all are afraid of this
ayashi no 怪しの潮路 "the mysterious tideway".

- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -


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There are other places called Susaki (Suzaki) or Sunosaki in Japan.

. Susaki Jinja 洲崎神社 - Aichi .

. Suzaki 洲崎 in Edo / Tokyo .
Suzaki Shiohigari 潮干狩 Shellfish gathering at low tide

. Wakanoura matsuri 和歌浦祭 - Wakayama .
... after the festival, the mikoshi palanquin was carried to Suzaki beach 須崎.


. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .


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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -

日の出見し洲崎の戻り初不動
hinode mishi Susaki no modori hatsu Fudo

back from the sunrise
at Sunomisaki -
first Fudo Ritual


中野三允 Nakano Sanin (1879 - 1955)
A disciple of Masaoka Shiki

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枯蘆を刈りて洲崎の廓哉
kareashi o karite susaki no kaku kana


正岡子規 Masaoka Shiki.



洲崎より柩出でゆく百日紅
鳥居美智子

ぎんなんの鈴生りの香を洲崎かな
いさ桜子

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- #suichu #kaitei #underwatershrine #susaki #suzaki #sunosaki #susakichiba -
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14/01/2017

Komainu Glossary

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. Komainu - Introduction .
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komainu, koma-inu 狛犬 / 高麗犬 / 胡麻犬 "Korean Dog"
karajishi 唐獅子 "Chinese Lion" - shishi 獅子 Lion dog
fóshī 佛獅 Foshi, foo dog



Join the Komainu Gallery on facebook for regular updates !

There is a difference in the composure of a Komainu and a Shishi Lion dog.

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京都狛犬巡り Visiting the Komainu of Kyoto
京都の神社へ奉納する狛犬を刻むのに各地の石工が燃えないはずはないのだ。秀犬、猛犬、珍犬、駄犬、迷犬の揃い踏み。京都(府下も含む)の全狛犬徹底調 査! 狛犬はどこで作られ、どこから来たのか。調査結果から見えてきた狛犬の生態。狛犬と神社を楽しむためのガイドブック。京都狛犬巡りモデルコース付き。
- reference source : nakanishiya.co.jp/book -

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- reference source : Kyoto Komainu -


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- - - - - Glossary - 用語集 - - - - -

ball
玉乗り standing on a ball, 玉抑え holding a ball down / 玉くわえ having a ball in the mouth

beard 髭の形
- facebook -

. Bishamon-Ten . 毘沙門天 . - and tora 虎Tiger Koma animals


child (mother and child) 子持ち
組み伏せ holding down, 遊ばせ let it play, 授乳 nursing

Chinese Lion 中国獅子 - see Lion below


ears 耳の形
Standing up (立て耳)


eyes 目の形
釣り目空豆型 almond-shaped / 釣り目半月型 almond-shaped, half moon / 丸目 round eyes/ 垂れ目 drooping eyes / 小判目 like Koban / 光彩のある/なし shining or not


fur, coat of fur 毛並み / たてがみ 
straight 直毛 
The hair of a lion dog is often curled 巻毛.


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hairstyle 髪型 and form of head
角あり/なし with horn or not / hooju 宝珠(擬宝珠)like a Giboshi jewel / 兜型 like a helmet / 前分け hair parted in front / 尊結び bound together / たてがみ(ライオン型)mane, like a lion
越前禿 Echizen kamuro
- kamurogata 禿(かむろ)型 / 禿型 : photos -
- reference : facebook -


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Hakusan Komainu 白山狛犬 from Mount Hakusan
- photos -

. Hokusai Manga - Katsushika Hokusai 葛飾北斎 (1760-1849).

horn 角
The female often has one horn. The male has two horns.


Incence burner 香炉
- photos -


Izumo type 出雲狛犬
made from special stone of the region, 来待石 Kimachi Stone.


. koma...  狛 other Shrine guardian animals .


- Lantern with Komainu 灯籠狛犬 - photos -
- facebook -

Largest Komainu
in Gifu, 瑞浪市 Mizunami - made of Minoyaki pottery
高さ3.3m、幅1.56m、奥行き2.4m、総重量は15トン!
- Click here for photos ! -

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lion dog 獅子 shishi
Might have reached Japan directly via China and Taiwan. Has no horn.
His ears are hanging down (垂れ耳), fur is curled 巻毛, his mouth is closed.
Usually stands on the left side.

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mouth 口
A pair with open and closed mouth 阿吽 a-un / mouth open, agyoo 阿形 / mouth closed, ungyoo 吽形
the "alpha" and "omega", beginning and end of all things.
Open mouth on the right, closed mouth on the left side.
- reference photos -

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. Manekineko 招き猫狛犬 Beckoning Cat .

material 材料による分類
石 stone is relative new - different stones from local areas are used.
木 wood / ブロンズ bronze / 金 gold
焼き物(備前焼、美濃焼、瓦焼き pottery (Bizen, Mino, Kawarayaki . . .)
セメント・コンクリート cement, concrete


- Mother and Child Komainu - 狛犬 親子 - photos -


. nade komainu なでこまいぬ Komainu to rub for good luck .
..... o-negai Komainu お願い狛犬 to make a wish

- netsuke 根付 - photos -


Okazaki type 岡崎型 After WWII, the mass production started from here.


- Paintings of Komainu - photos -


- Rings, fingerring with Komainu - photos

. roof tiles - kawara, yanegawara 屋根瓦 .



Sendai-gata 仙台形 type from Sendai
source : facebook


setokoma せとこま from 瀬戸深川神社 Shrine Seto Fukagawa Jinja
11 Fukagawacho, Seto, Aichi
- reference photos -


. Shiisa シーサー Lion Dogs from Okinawa.

. Shooki Komainu 鍾馗 at 鍾馗神社 Shoki Shrine .

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- - - - - Shrines - - - - -
神殿狛犬型 Shrine-type
籠神社型 dragon deity shrine tpye  

大宝神社型 Daiho Jinja

厳島神社 Itsukushima Jinja (Hiroshima) : 14 painted and lacquered wooden figures (12-14c)

- photos -

籠(この)神社型 Kono Jinja
鷲神社(大分県)Ootori Jinja (Oita)
弥彦神社型(忠太狛犬) Yasuhiko Jinja (Chuta Komainu)
靖国神社型 Yasukuni shrine type


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Standing Komainu 立ち狛犬 / standing on front legs 逆立ち狛犬
- Click here for photos ! -

Stone lantern 四隅獅子頭型」灯籠 with Komainu at the corners
source : facebook



tail 尾の形
扇尾 like a handfan / 炎尾 like flames / 筒尾 like a pipe / 獅子尾 like a lion / 滝(流水)尾 like flowing water


- Tatoo with Komainu 刺青 irezumi - (fb)
..... tatoo - reference source : facebook -


. temizuya 手水舎 purification font, purification trough .

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- - - - - Temples - - - - -

. Toodaiji 東大寺型 Todai-Ji type - Nara .

薬師寺 Yakushi-Ji
a pair of painted wooden komainu (10-11c)

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. tomegoto 止め事成就の狛犬 make an end to something unpleasant .

tongue sticking out
- facebook -



- Toys with Komainu - photos -



. water basin 手水舎 at a shrine .

woodblock prints 狛犬の版画 hanga
- photos -

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狛犬覚醒


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source : facebook
Tokyo Asakusa Sanja Jinja 浅草『三社神社』 

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- - - - - Reference - - - - -


- reference : facebook - 狛犬さがし隊 -

- komainu.net/index - 狛犬の完全ガイド本
第1章● 狛犬入門
第2章● 狛犬は生きている
第3章● 熱血読み物
第4章● 館主の狛犬探訪記 - from North to South
第5章● 過去の狛犬臨時ニュース / 第6章● リンクなど

- 狛犬とは何か? 100万人の狛犬講座 -

- 分類 different typs of komainu -


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[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
- #komainuglossary #glossary -
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02/01/2017

komainu guardian dogs and lions

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
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komainu, koma-inu 狛犬 / 高麗犬 / 胡麻犬 "Korean Dog"
karajishi 唐獅子 "Chinese Lion"
foo dogs, fóshī 佛獅 Foshi




source : askideas.com/22-best-foo-dog-tattoo

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They come in a pair, one with its mouth open, agyoo 阿形;
and one with its mouth closed, ungyoo 吽形, thus representing the beginning (alpha) and end (omega) of all things.
Often a female one has one horn and the male one two.

. Komainu Daijin 狛犬大神 the Komainu Deity .
at 大和神社 Oyamato Shrine, Tenri, Nara

. koma...  狛 other Shrine guardian animals .

. Shiisa シーサー Lion Dogs from Okinawa.



source : facebook
Tokyo Asakusa Sanja Jinja 浅草『三社神社』 

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- quote -
komainu 狛犬 Lit. Korean dog.
A pair of lion-like guardian figures placed at each side of a shrine or temple entrance; believed to ward off evil spirits.
Thought to have been brought to Japan from China via Korea, their name is derived from Koma 高麗, the Japanese term for the Korean kingdom of Koguryo (Jp: Koukuri 高句麗). In the early Heian period, the two statues were clearly distinguished: the figure on the left, called shishi 獅子 (lion), resembled a lion with its mouth open agyou 阿形; the figure on the right, called komainu 狛犬 (Korean dog), resembled a dog with its mouth closed ungyou 吽形, and sometimes had a horn on its head.

- - - - - Ujigami Jinja Honden 宇治上神社本殿 (Kyoto)

Gradually
the term komainu came to be used for both statues, and their shapes became indistinguishable except for the open and closed mouths a-un 阿吽. In the Heian period komainu were used as weights or door-stops for curtains and screens in the Seiryoden 清涼殿, Kyoto Gosho 京都御所.
Other famous examples include a pair of painted wooden komainu (10-11c) at Yakushiji 薬師寺, Nara;
14 painted and lacquered wooden figures at Itsukushima Jinja 厳島神社 (12-14c) Hiroshima prefecture, and
the stone figures inside the south gate of Todaiji 東大寺, Nara, made by the 12c Chinese sculptor Chinnakei 陳和卿.
- source : JAANUS -

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- quote -
Literally, "Korean lions," paired figures of lion tutelaries found at the entryway to shrine buildings, or alongside their torii or approachways.
Also written 高麗犬 or 胡麻犬.

Most are made of stone,
although bronze, iron, wood, and ceramic examples can also be found. The paired figures are typically male and female, and in some cases one of the two has horns. In generally, the pairs include one with an open mouth and one with mouth closed, the so-called a-un posture symbolizing the "alpha" and "omega" of the Sanskrit alphabet. In some pairs, however, both are depicted with open mouths. The origin of such tutelary beasts is said to go back to Egypt or India, but the ones transmitted to Japan originated during China's Tang dynasty.

Another style was introduced to Japan from Song China during the Kamakura period, and this style is frequently referred to as kara jishi (Chinese lions). The word "Koma" is an ancient term for the Korean peninsula, but since the images were merely transmitted through the Korean peninsula, it may be that the term Koma inu was merely used to indicate their "foreign" nature.
As tutelaries, the animals are believed to symbolize the eradication of evil and the protection of the area around the kami.
- source : Nakayama Kaoru - Kokugakuin -

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Join the Komainu Gallery on facebook for regular updates !

- - - - - Information by Hayato Tokugawa

FOO DOGS Part I
In the West they are often called “Foo Dogs”;
however, they are not dogs, they’re lions! It’s a rather lazy Western contraction of the Chinese words
fóshī (佛獅, Buddha’s or Buddhist lion) or fúshī (福獅, fortuitous lion), although they have many other names in China such as “Auspicious lion” or “guardian lions,”
but most simply they are traditionally known in China as Shi (獅, shī) or “lion.”

Statues of these lions have stood guard over Chinese Imperial palaces, Imperial tombs, government offices, temples, as well as the homes of government officials and wealthy families, ever since the Han Dynasty (206 BC to 220 AD) and are honored as having powerful, mythic protective powers. It is not uncommon to see such lions used also as decorative or symbolic motifs in art, not to mention at the entrances to hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, and other buildings — even parks — one sitting at each side of an entrance. Ah, but they are not just common in China, but also in Japan, Okinawa and as far away as my other home of San Francisco. Indeed, wherever Chinese people have migrated, or Chinese culture has exerted its influence, one is likely to encounter fóshī.
- source : Hayato Tokugawa -

FOO DOGS Part II
Everything you wanted to know about Komainu, foshi, or "foo dogs".
Guardian lions in China are most often set in pairs, consisting of a male lion and a female lion, a representation of yin and yang (the male is yang, the female is yin.) The male rests his paw on an embroidered ball (绣球, xiù qiú), representing supremacy over the world; and the female often has her paw, the one closest to the male, resting (more than likely actually restraining) a cub: a representation of the cycle of life. Tradition says that the female protects those inside the building or place they guard while the male guards the structure or place itself. While the form of the lions was originally quite varied, it has over the centuries become formalized, particularly during the Ming and then the Qing dynasties, into the form we are most familiar with now.

Frequently one is likely to also see pairs of fóshī with the female’s mouth closed and the male’s open — said to be symbolic of the utterance of the sacred word “om.” Other styles of fóshī may have both male and female with opened mouths, each containing a single, large pearl. In the case of many such pairs, the pearl is frequently completely carved so that it is free to roll about in the lion’s mouth, but large enough that it cannot be removed.



Unlike the “guardian lions” one might see in front of a government or public building for example in the UK or in the United States, which are created to give a somewhat lifelike appearance of the animal, Chinese fóshī are carved with the intent of portraying the emotion of the lion as well as its symbolism. In the Chinese lions, the claws, teeth, and eyes represent power while it is rare that musculature is depicted at all; whereas in the English lion, it is its quite stylized with distinct musculature to portray its power.

Correct placement of the fóshī is essential as dictated by the principles of feng shui, ensuring that their beneficial effects are maximized. When, for example, standing in the doorway of a building looking out toward a street, or square, the same direction that the lions gaze at, the male is to be placed on the left and the female on the right; thus, when walking into a building or other place guarded by the lions, the male will be on the right and the female on the left.

One often hears, “But lions only exist in Africa!” Truth be told, Asiatic lions were once quite common in Southwest and Central Asia as well; and with the increase in trade, particularly during the Han dynasty, along the Silk Road, the depiction of lions, as well as their pelts, and even caged animals were introduced into China. Various ambassadors to China from the then “West” are known to have given gifts of live lions as tribute.
- source : Hayato Tokugawa -


FOO DOGS Part III - Japan
In Japan, one is likely to find a myriad of fóshī, only there they are commonly referred to as komainu (狛犬・胡麻犬) and are likely to be found at Shintō shrines, either guarding the entrance or even inside the shrine itself.


(Photographs by Tajimi Jones, also known as Aoi Tokugawa.)

In Japan, one is likely to find a myriad of fóshī, only there they are commonly referred to as komainu (狛犬・胡麻犬) and are likely to be found at Shintō shrines, either guarding the entrance or even inside the shrine itself. And despite the forced attempt to separate Buddhism from Shintō during Meiji, even the denigration of Buddhism at the time, komainu can also be found at Buddhist temples. Try as it might, the government just never quite managed to separate the two. There are two common forms, the jinnai komainu (陣内狛犬) or shrine inside komainu, which is the older of the two forms, and the sandō komainu (参道狛犬) or the “visiting road komainu) which took shape during the Edo period.

The pair of lions are typically identical to each other except that one has an open mouth while the other’s is closed. Tradition holds that the open mouth is pronouncing the first letter of the Sanskrit alphabet, “a,” while the closed mouth is speaking the last letter, “um,” — a representation of the beginning and end of all things. Combined, they form the sound “Aum,” sacred in both Hinduism and Buddhism. That’s not to say that there are not exceptions to this “rule.”
Komainu were “exported” from China to Korea, Japan, and Okinawa; and in Japan proper, they seem to have made their first appearance during the Nara period (710 – 794). They were used exclusively indoors until the 14th century and were then generally made of wood. During the following Heian period (794 – 1185), Komainu were frequently made of metal or stone in addition to wood, and were used as paper weights and doorstops among other things. In the Imperial Palace komainu were frequently used to support fusuma (襖).

It was also during the Heian (the 9th century) that the statues took on their “mouth open - mouth shut” forms we are most familiar with. The lion with the open mouth was called shishi (獅子, lion), while the other, with its mouth closed was called komainu or “koguryo dog” because it looked like…a dog — a chow chow, or a Japanese chin, or a Pekinese! Eventually they were both simply referred to as komainu.

The 14th century saw stone or metal “lion-dogs” moved outdoors in order to utilize its power to ward off evil as the guardians of gates and doors. This applied not just to public or private buildings, but to shrines and temples as well. During the Edo period, komainu were replaced or “assisted” by other creatures such as tigers, dragons and even foxes (Inari shrines) but I have yet to encounter a tanuki as a komainu.

Shinto is very important in the Tajimi area (the regions of Gifu-ken and Aichi-ken) like most of rural Japan. You will find more shrines than you could possibly imagine and just as many (times 2) komainu. These are all made by local craftsmen (first stone cutters, the rest by sculptors and ceramic artists). It could easily take years to visit all the shrines - a pilgrimage in itself.
- source : Hayato Tokugawa -

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A Korean komainu or haechi (age unknown).


We know that lions appeared in Indian temple art and, as early as the third century, showed up in the art of Chinese Buddhism; a symbol of protection of the dharma (the teachings of Buddha). Apparently as time progressed, it was determined that what was good for the Buddha must then also be good for the Emperor; thus, the lions became protectors of the gates and doors of imperial buildings and compounds. Now, the Chinese word for lion is shi 獅 or shishi 獅子; however, another creature that appeared in China at about the same time called the xiezhi, and at some point in time, between the third and seventh centuries, pairs of stone xiezhi made their way to Korea, where the name was pronounced haetae or haechi. The haechi appears very lion-like, but often has a scaly body, a small horn on its head, and sometimes small wings.

By the Nara period (710-794), lion guardians had journeyed to Japan, typically made of wood and intended for indoor use. By the ninth century, the pair came to consist of an open-mouthed lion (shishi 獅子) and one close-mouthed, horn-bearing, dog-like komainu (Korean dog. By the fourteenth century the horn disappeared, (although it does show up from time to time) and both animals of the pair came to be known as komainu, largely carved from stone and used out of doors.
- source : Hayato Tokugawa -


- quote -
Pìxiū 貔貅, which is pronounced Hikyū in Japan.
Also known in Chinese as Bìxié 避邪 or Tiān Lù 天禄. Also known in Japanese as Hekija 辟邪 or Tenroku 天禄.
A composite beast of ancient origin, mostly forgotten in Japan, but still popular today in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore. The mythological dragon-headed, lion-bodied Pìxiū 貔貅 (also spelled 豼貅) were traditionally depicted in China as a male-female pair, one with a single horn (male, Pì 貔) and the other with two horns (female, Xiū 貅), but in modern times they each commonly appear with only one horn. In ancient China, statues of the two guarded the entrance to the tomb, as they are thought to ward off evil and protect wealth.
In old China, the beasts were also commonly portrayed with hoofs, wings, and tails, and supposedly appeared on the banners of the emperor’s chariots (兵車に立てた旗). In Japan, the Hikyū are largely ignored, having been supplanted by the Koma-inu (magical lion dogs) and Shishi (magical lions), who traditionally stand guard outside the gates of Japanese Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. In Japan, effigies of Shishi lions are also commonly used as architectural elements, placed under the eaves of both Shintō shrines and Buddhist temples to ward off evil spirits.
Let us recall that, in China, the Pìxiū also serve this role, and in olden times were commonly displayed on the roof corners of the homes of the emperor and gentry.
- continue reading
- source : Mark Schumacher -


And please check the main page of Mark Schumacher about Komainu


CLICK for more photos !

SHISHI LIONS - SHRINE & TEMPLE GUARDIANS
WITH MAGICAL POWERS TO REPEL EVIL
Jp. = Shishi 獅子 or Kara Shishi 唐獅子, Chn. = Shíshī
Also known as Koma-inu 狛犬 (lion dog) in Japan
- source : Mark Schumacher -

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. - - - - - Komainu Glossary - 用語集 - - - - - .

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- reference : facebook - 狛犬さがし隊 -

- 狛犬とは何か? 100万人の狛犬講座 -

- 分類 different typs of komainu -

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狛犬覚醒
- - reference source : 平井靖久 facebook -


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Two statues by master sculptor 運慶 Unkei (? - 1223)






- look at more Komainu photos at the shrine 地主神社 Jinushi Jinja :
- reference source : jishujinja.or.jp/kigan -

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- Reference : 狛犬
- Reference : komainu



狛犬切手 Komainu Stamp - from 香取神宮 Katori Jingu
編集長の狛犬日記 - very informative !
- reference source : www15.plala.or.jp/timebox/top/08nikki -


. Shrine, Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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- - - - -  H A I K U  - - - - -



in the limelight
for two seconds -
photographer's luck!


. Shrine Ichi no Miya, Wadakita, Ohaga .
Gabi Greve at 和田北 一宮神社, my local shrine

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狛犬の片足折れぬ神の留守
komainu no ashi orenu kami no rusu

正岡子規 Masaoka Shiki

山法師狛犬古りし結願寺 我部敬子
市神の狛犬に角木下闇 田中英子
春の狛犬にさはりたがりしかな 夏井いつき
柿の浮力狛犬いちにち足そろふ 磯貝碧蹄館

狛犬にそびらの虚空のぞかるる 林田紀音夫
狛犬にテント結はへしラムネ売り 森重夫(万象)
狛犬に乳房が六つ山眠る 仙 とよえ
狛犬に木三本づつの雪囲ひ 川崎展宏
狛犬に犬を預けて盆踊 平上昌子

狛犬の仔は石気取り松の花 加藤あきと
狛犬の光る眼と合ひ初不動 室田東洋女
狛犬の口に溜まりし寒の雨 岡田久慧
狛犬の口の中なる蝉の殻 國守セツ
狛犬の口の奥まで残暑かな 渡辺初雄
狛犬の口より出でし石竜かな 巌谷小波
狛犬の台座もろとも苔の花 小野寺順子
狛犬の吽の口あく木下闇 友塚紀美恵
狛犬の渦のたてがみ青あらし 清水 白郎
狛犬の爪に立てかけ青写真 武田無涯子
狛犬の玉を踏みたる薄暑光 長谷川久々子
狛犬の相寄らぬまゝ冬の暮 川崎展宏
狛犬の走つてゆけり青嵐 小島健 木の実
狛犬の金歯赫々木下闇 河野静雲 閻魔
狛犬の金目うつろや神無月 仲澤輝子
狛犬の阿の口子蜘蛛出るわ出るわ 松山足羽
狛犬の阿吽を抜ける西東忌 森田智子
狛犬の頭に苔知恵の文殊堂 八木三日女
狛犬の首に真青な注連飾 藤本安騎生

狛犬は網かぶせられゐて灼くる 頼経嘉子
狛犬もよそよそしかりみな猛暑 丸山佳子
狛犬も邪鬼と睦むや雪囲して 文挟夫佐恵
狛犬や碓氷の神のしぐれける 川崎展宏
狛犬を葭簀の中に年の市 青邨

狼の眼の狛犬や山始 鳥居雨路子
秋風や狛犬白き美保神社 板谷芳浄
金襴を纒ふ狛犬初戎 野村浩之

- reference source : cgi-bin/HAIKUreikuDB -

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

In 1854, during a fire at the palace, the 獅子狛犬 Lions Dogs from the 清涼殿 Seiryoden Palace were brought to the home of the honorable 一条家 Ichijo Family for safekeeping by a high-ranking official working at the Seiryoden. Later they tried to find this man, but were told such an official does not exist. They said it must have been the spirit of the Komainu.


source : 15.plala.or.jp/timebox/top/05komamori/75/seiryoden

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. Gifu 岐阜県

At 白川村 Shirakawa village there was a wolf who had eaten the bones of a human and they gut stuck in his throat. The villagers helped him when they found him sitting and suffering in the compound of 八幡様 Hachiman Shrine. And the Deity promised to help the villagers from now on. So they changed the Komainu at the shrine and installed statues of wolves.


- and found by chance, two Komainu from Gifu, Hida


和良村の歴史資料官に
source : hidasaihakken.hida-ch.com

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. Iwate 岩手県

The authorities of 胆沢 Isawa ordered the Komainu in the park to be burried in the ground.
But after that, a lot of strange bad things happened in the village, as a curse of the Komainu.

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. Okayama 岡山県

. Kibitsu Komainu 吉備津狛犬 from the shrine Kibitsu Hiko Jinja 吉備津彦神社 .

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. Yamanashi 山梨県

Once the八幡さんの獅子 Lion Dogs from Hachiman Shrine were stolen.
But the home of the thief was soon befallen with diseases, fire and other disasters. So they all pledged to bring the Komainu back to the shrine and tried to pull them along with a horse. But the horse could not move, they were too heavy.
Then a man took one on his back - and what do you say - it was so light, he could carry it with no problem.

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- reference : nichibun yokai database -

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[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
- #komainu #guardiandog #foodog -
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01/01/2017

- Backup Shrines in Edo Tokyo



. Pilgrimages in Edo - Tokyo .

Backup Marlch  2017


















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Tokyo Shitamachi Pilgrimage

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Pilgrimages in Edo - Tokyo - Introduction .
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東京下町八社巡り Pilgrimage to 8 Shrines in Shitamachi

This pilgrimage has started in 1981.
There is a deity in each Shinto Shrine for a special purpose and wish.




- quote -
Shitamachi Tokyo old town
Shitamachi literally means "downtown" and is the place to experience a taste of the old town Tokyo atmosphere that existed before the economic miracle of the 1970's and 80's really took hold. The most famous district of Shitamachi is Asakusa. At its heart you find Senso-ji Temple, best known for the giant red lantern situated at the entrance. This is a great place to start any exploration of Tokyo.
- source : insidejapantours.com/experience-japan -




The pilgrimage is also called
Shitamachi Hachi Fukujin 下町八福神 Eight Shinto Deities of Good Luck in Shitamachi Shrines


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amulets for all purposes at the Tori no Ichi Market.

. 酉の市 Tori no Ichi Markets in Edo .


shoobai hanjoo 商売繁盛 Good business

Ootori Jinja 鷲神社 Otori Jinja
台東区千束3-18-7 -- 3 Chome-18-7 Senzoku, Taitō ward

----- Deities in residence :
天日鷲命 Amenohiwashi no Mikoto, Ame no Hiwashi
日本武尊 Yamato Takeru no Mikoto




kakkome かっこめ Kakkome rake
kakkome is a pun with un o kakikomu 運をかき込む, to rake in good fortune
It contains the rake for farmers, a written amulet and an ear of rice, with the wish for a good harvest in the coming year. It is also good for business and a happy family.

- reference : hachifukujin829/ootori1 -


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縁結び Finding a partner

. 今戸神社 Imado Jinja .
台東区今戸1-5-22 -- 1 Chome-5-22 Imado, Taitō ward

----- Deities in residence :
伊弉諾尊 Izanagi no Mikoto // 伊弉冉尊 Izanami no Mikoto
應神天皇 Oojin Tenno


Famous for the story of the manekineko 招き猫 "Beckoning Cat"



- reference : hachifukujin829/imado1 -

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健康長寿 Long and healthy life

第六天榊神社 Dairokuten Sakaki Jinja
台東区蔵前1-4-3 -- 1 Chome-4-3 Kuramae, Taitō wear

----- Deities in residence :
天神第六代坐榊皇大御神
Amatsukami Mutsu no Miyo ni ataritamau Sakaki no Sume Oomikami
面足尊 Omodaru no Mikoto
惶根尊 Kashikone no Mikoto


- reference : hachifukujin829/sakaki1 -



The temple used to be called 第六天神宮 Dairokuten Jingu, and was renamed in 1873 to 榊神社 Sakaki Jinja.

. Dairokuten Ma-O 第六天魔王 .


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円満和合 Happy couple

下谷神社 Shitaya Jinja
台東区東上野3-29-8 -- 3 Chome-29-8 Higashiueno, Taitō ward

----- Deities in residence :
大年神 Ootoshi no Kami
日本武尊 Yamato Takeru no Mikoto



- reference : hachifukujin829/sitaya1 -

The Deity of Fertility in enshrined here. The Shrine was founded in 730 in Ueno park, and moved to another place in 1672. The final location to Higashi Ueno was done in 1703. The main event is the Grand Annual Festival, Reitaisai.



- further reference -

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学問芸能 Learning and progress in the arts

. Onoterusaki jinja 小野照崎神社 .
台東区下谷2-13-14 -- 2 Chome-13-14 Shitaya, Taitō ward

----- Deities in residence :
小野篁命 Ono no Takamura
菅原道真命 Sugawara Michizane




- reference : hachifukujin829/onoteru1 -

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安産子授け Getting pregnant and easy birth

. Suitengu 水天宮 Shrine for the Water God .
中央区日本橋蛎殻町2-4-1 -- 2 Chome-4-1 Nihonbashi Kakigarachō, Chūō ward

----- Deities in residence :
天御中主大神 Ame no Minakanushi no Ookami
安徳天皇 Antoku Tenno and his mother, 建礼門院 Kenreimon-In
二位ノ尼 Nii no Ama - Taira no Tokiko (1126 - 1185)




- reference : hachifukujin829/suitengu1 -

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強運厄除け Avoiding disaster

小網神社 Koami Jinja
中央区日本橋小網町16-23 -- 16-23 Nihonbashi Koamichō, Chūō ward

----- Deities in residence :
倉稲魂命 Ukanomitama no Mikoto (Uganomitama) / 稲荷大神 Inari Ookami
市杵島姫命 Ichikishima Hime no Mikoto / 辨財天 Benzaiten




- reference : hachifukujin829/koami1 -

- quote -
- History -
A long time ago, the monk 恵心僧都 源信 Eshin Sozu Genshin Eshin Sōzu Genshin lived here in a hermitage, worshipping the Buddhist goddesses Kannon and Benzaiten. It is not known, when exactly the hermitage was built, but it is assumed that the monk lived here about 1000 years ago.
As a plague spread here in 1466, an old net-weaver came here and brought rice-ears that entangled in one of his nets as offering and decided to stay for a few days. Then, one night, Eshin Sōzu appeared to the abbot of temple in a dream and told him, that this old man in fact was the god Inari and that the plague could be taken away if they worshipped him adequately.
The next day, the old man was gone. However, the abbot remembered the advice and prayed to the god – which he now called Koami Inari Daimyōjin (Inari of the small net) – day and night. After a little while the plague was gone and the people could live in peace again. The overlord the region, Ōta no Dōkan, also heard of this miracle and donated a part of his fiefdom to shrine. At the end of the 16th Century then, the area around the shrine was also named Koami and the shrine itself was beginning to be worshipped as a tutelary god.
In the Meiji-period (1868-1912) the state pursued a separation of Shinto and Buddhism, which both had moulded into a syncretic belief during the prior one-thousand years, and so the Koami Inari Shrine was officially registered as a shinto village shrine. The building as we can see it today was built in the 1920ies under the direction of Naitō Komasaburō, who also assisted the building of the Meiji-Shrine. Spared from the destruction of World War II, the shrine nowadays is the only wooden building made out of cypress wood in Nihonbashi. The wooden carvings of two dragons (one ascending, the other one descending) on the porch roof of the main hall symbolize luck and the shrine – now simply called Koami Shrine – stays an important cultural heritage, as which it is registered in the Chūō-district.
- The goddess of luck -
Having been spared from destruction and continuously being linked to health and safety the goddess of the shrine is seen as a god of luck. For instance, all the sons of the families who lived in the shrine, returned home safely from World War II. The shrine also survived the numerous bombings of Tokyo in 1945 and did not – like so many others did unfortunately – burn down completely. However, the building was destroyed once during the Great Kantō Earthquake in 1923, although the abbot of the shrine was able to secure most parts of the sanctuary by bringing them to Shin-ohashi. It is also said, that those people who sought shelter there, have survived the aftermath of the earthquake.
Today a memorial stone reminds us of this episode with an inscription saying:
„Praying to the sanctuary of the Koami Shrine, we seek the goddesses’ protection!“
- The History of the goddess Benzaiten -
At First the goddess Benzaiten was honoured in the Manpukuji temple. Then, as the Meiji-government sought to separate Buddhism from Shintoism and installed the latter as a state religion, the Buddhist temple was destroyed and the goddess Benzaiten was transferred to this shrine in 1869. The image here shows the goddess Benzaiten sitting in a boat.
Every year on October 28th a festivity is celebrated in honour of the goddess, where the sacrificial offerings, which are piled up in front of the altar, later on are raffled to the visitors.
Besides that, there is also a small well (named Zeni-arai-no-i), whose water is said to have the power to multiply the money that is washed with its water.
- Important annual festivities and rituals -
- Doburoku Festival -
- Mimizuku-Charms -



- Pilgrimages -
Every year there are pilgrimages to the eight surrounding shrines in Tokyo-Shitamachi and
the temples and shrines of the seven gods of luck in Nihonbashi from January 1th to 7th.
In our shrine we worship the gods Fukurokuju and Benzaiten, which are said to ward of the evil and shape our fate positively. On this occasion we sell popular images of the gods of luck, as well as charms in the form of miniature ships.
- source and photos : koamijinja.or.jp/international -

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交通安全 Traffic safety

住吉神社 Sumiyoshi Jinja
中央区佃1-1-14 -- 1 Chome-1-14 Tsukuda, Chūō ward

----- Deities in residence :
底筒之男命 Sokozutsu no O no Mikoto
中筒之男命 Nakazutsu no O no Mikoto
表筒之男命 Uwazutsu no O no Mikoto
息長足姫命 Okinagatarashi Hime no Mikoto .
徳川家康 Tokugawa Ieyasu


- reference : hachifukujin829/sumiyosi1 -



. Sumiyoshi Shrines of Japan 住吉神社 .
Sumiyoshi Sanjin 住吉三神 Three Deities of Sumiyoshi


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At the end of the pilgrimage, you get a board with eight stamps.





- HP of the Pilgrimage
下町八社会公式ホームページ
- reference source : geocities.jp/hachifukujin829 -


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. Shichifukujin 七福神 Seven Gods of Good Luck .
- venerated in Buddhist Temples
Benten 弁天
Bishamonten 毘沙門天
Daikoku 大黒
Ebisu 恵比寿
Fukurokujuu 福禄寿
Hotei 布袋
Juroojin 寿老人



. - - - - - . kami 神 Shinto deities - LIST . - - - - - .

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. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

. Japan - Shrines and Temples .


. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011

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