31/12/2018

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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- 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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. Japan Shinto Shrines - Facebook .

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28/02/2018

Kagutsuchi Homusubi fire

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
. kami 神 Shinto deities .
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Kagutsuchi カグツチ / 軻遇突智 Kagu-tsuchi - "incarnation of fire"
Homusubi no Mikoto 火産霊命

Hinokagatsuchi 火之迦具土

He is the main deity in residence at the many
. Atago Jinja 愛宕神社 Atago shrines of Japan .

Kagutsuchi is the patron deity of blacksmiths and ceramic workers.


source : rekihaku-bo/historystation / イザナギとイザナミの国造り

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- quote -
Other names:
Kagutsuchi no mikoto, Hinoyagihayao no kami, Hinokagabiko no kami (Kojiki),
Ho musuhi (Nihongi).

The kami of fire or hi no kami. According to Kojiki and an "alternate writing" transmitted by Nihongi, Izanami suffered mortal burns when giving birth to this kami.
Upon Izanami's death, Izanagi was enraged and cut up the deity with his sword, whereupon Takemikazuchi and other deities were produced from the blood on his sword.
Still other deities were produced from Kagutsuchi's body, and their names all included the element yamatsumi, thus indicating their relation to mountains.
In the Engishiki,
a source which contains the myth, Izanami, in her death throes, bears the water god Mizuhame, instructing her to pacify Kagutsuchi if he should become violent. This story also contains references to traditional fire-fighting tools: gourds for carrying water and wet clay and water reeds for smothering fires.
- reference source : Kadoya Atsushi - Kokugakuin -





Kuraokami, Takaokami 高おかみ神, Kuramitsuha
Three Kami produced from the blood that dripped from Izanagi's sword when he killed the kami of fire, Kagutsuchi.
. Kifune Shrine Kume 貴布弥(きふね)神社 .
岡山県久米郡久米町桑上 Kuwakami village, Kume, Okayama


. 金山彦神 Kanayamabiko, 金山姫 Kanayamabime .
According to Kojiki, these kami were produced from the vomit (taguri) emitted by Izanami as she lay dying following the birth of the kami of fire Kagutsuchi.
The History of Tatara - Kanayago-Kami


. Kifune Jinja 貴船神社 Shrine in Kyoto .
Tamayori-hime 玉依姫, a female water Kami, is venerated here to watch over Kagutsuchi, in a balance of fire and water worship in Kyoto.
The tow other deities enshrined here are Takaokami-no-Kami and Kuraokami-no-Kami.

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- quote -
Kagutsuchi (aka Hi-no-Kagutsuchi) is the Shinto god or kami of fire and is also known as Homusubi. The son of Izanami and Izanagi, the fire god is the father of eight warrior gods and eight mountain gods, amongst others. Such a destructive force as fire in a culture where buildings were typically made of wood and paper resulted in Kagutsuchi becoming an important object of Shinto ritual and a frequent receiver of appeasing offerings.
- Genealogy & Offspring
According to the 8th-century CE Kojiki ('Record of Ancient Things') and Nikon Shoki ('Chronicle of Japan' and also known as the Nihongi), Kagutsuchi-no-kami, to give his full name, was born from Izanami, one of the Shinto creator gods, but such was his fierce heat that he killed his mother in the process. His father Izanagi was not best pleased with this result and so lopped off Kagutsuchi’s head with his great sword, the Ame-no-o-habari-no-kami. From the blood which gushed out over the surrounding rocks and dripped from the sword’s blade and hilt another eight gods were born, all of them powerful swordsmen kami. The two most important of these martial gods are Takemikazuchi-no-kami and Futsunushi-no-kami, with the former being also a thunder god and patron of the martial arts who famously subdued Namazu the giant catfish that lives beneath the earth and causes earthquakes by flipping his tail.

Two other gods born from Kagutsuchi’s blood were Kuraokami-no-kami, who is mentioned in the Manyoshu poem anthology (compiled c. 759 CE) as being a dragon and rain god.
Another is Amatsumikaboshi, the kami of Venus, the Evening Star. Her alternative name is Amenokagasewo.

After Kagutsuchi’s decapitation the story continues and from just about every body part of the fire god, from his left foot to his genitals, eight more gods were born. These were mountain gods which represented different types of mountains such as forested ones, those with moors, those far away, those possessing iron, those which provided passes to adjoining valleys and, of course, volcanoes. The stories of Kagutsuchi which include the creation of iron and swords may well be a mythological explanation for the arrival of iron and superior metal goods via immigrants arriving in Japan from mainland Asia at the beginning of the Yayoi Period (c. 300 BCE or earlier to c. 250 CE), many of whom may well have been warriors.

In an alternative version, or rather an added segment, recorded in the 10th-century CE Engishiki, before she dies Izanami hides away and gives birth to three more gods: the water kami Mizuhame-no-mikoto, the clay princess, the gourd, and the water reed. All four are instructed by their dying mother to watch out for Kagutsuchi and, if necessary, act to pacify him if he ever gets out of hand. The traditional fire-fighting equipment of the ancient Japanese was water, carried in a gourd, to pour on the fire while water reeds and clay were often used to smother it. Even today in some parts of Japan, there is a midwinter ritual where reed bundles are placed in the eaves of roofs so that they are handy if a fire should break out.
- Fire in Shinto Rituals
The Japanese have long since had a great fear of fire and the devastation it can cause, not least because Japanese buildings were traditionally made from highly combustible wood and paper walls with wood shale or grass roofs. Fires have destroyed almost every major ancient building and temple in the ancient cities of Japan over the centuries, and during the Edo period (1603-1868 CE), fires were so frequent at the capital Edo (modern Tokyo) that they were known as 'the flowers of Edo'.

It is not surprising then that ceremonies to appease and ward off Kagutsuchi were a common feature of Shinto ritual. In such rituals and prayers, Kagutsuchi is usually referred to as Homusubi, which translates as 'he who starts fires'. The ancient Japanese even dedicated a twice yearly ceremony to Kagutsuchi, the Ho-shizume-no-matsuri, which was sponsored by the imperial court whose sprawling palace complexes were frequently victim to fires. The ceremony was designed to please the god and ensure he would withhold his terrible flames for another six months. The destructive fire of Kagutsuchi is in contrast to the purifying fire of Shinto rituals, known as kiri-bi, which was traditionally made by rubbing together two pieces of hinoki wood, a type of cypress.

Kagutsuchi is sometimes equated with Atago Gongen, another kami of fire and considered an avatar of the Buddhist figure Jizo.
Strictly speaking, though, Atago Gongen is a more positive figure in Japanese mythology and acts as a protector from fire or a preserver of it.
- source : ancient.eu/Kagutsuchi - Mark Cartwright -


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- Reference : カグツチ
- Reference : kagutsuchi


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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .





. Katen, the God of Fire .
Katen 火天 / kajin 火神 the God of Fire


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. Karasu Tengu from the Atago Jinja shrine in Kyoto .


. Sugiyama Sooshoo (Soojoo) 杉山僧正 Sugiyama Sosho (Sojo) .
Sosho is about 3000 years old. He lives in 岩間町愛宕山 Mount Atagoyama in Iwama, Ibaraki.

. Taicho Daishi 泰澄大師 (682 ?683 - 767) .
He practised austerities at 愛宕山 Mount Atago together with En no Gyoja 役小角 En no Ozunu, where they met three Tengu and got special teachings and training.
天狗 白峰大僧正 Tengu Shiramine Daisojo



. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


....................................................................... Chiba 千葉県 .....

. Mount Takagoyama 高宕山 .
高宕山 The Kanji in the middle, 宕, refers to the cave, and this reminded people of the famous 愛宕山 Atagoyama in Kyoto.
Maybe the Tengu from Atagoyama even came here to visit ? ??



....................................................................... Fukui 福井県 .....

. "fire festival of Atago 愛宕の火祭り .



....................................................................... Fukushima 福島県 .....

. 川中子の愛宕神社 Atago Shrine of Kawanakago .



....................................................................... Miyazaki 宮崎県 .....

. Mount Atagoyama in Osaki 愛宕山のオサキ(尾根) .
and the wind kappa 兵主坊 Hyosubo



....................................................................... Saitama 埼玉県 .....
Chichibu

. 和田神社 Wada Jinja .
with a sanctuary for the 愛宕様 Atago Deity, the 山の神 God of the Mountain.


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. Atago Gongen Densetsu 愛宕権現 伝説 More Legends about Atago Gongen .

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- #kagutsuchi #homusubi #firegod #atagoyama #atago -
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08/01/2018

Hayama Shrine Fukushima

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
. kami 神 Shinto deities .
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Hayama Jinja 葉山神社 Hayama Shrine, Soma, Fukushima


source : blogs.yahoo.co.jp/tendomaru...
福島県相馬市馬場野 / Babano, Soma, Fukushima

- - - - - Deitiy in residence - - - - -

. Ooyamatsuminomikoto 大山祇神, 大山積神, 大山津見神 Oyama Tsumi no Mikoto .
Oyamatsumi no Mikoto, Ōyamatsumi - protector of trees and the mountain forest

. Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain in Fukushima .

The 葉山祠 Hayama shrine is also related to the Soma clan.
Soma Yoshitane 相馬義胤 (1548 - 16365)
He came to live in 馬場野 Babano.

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- quote -
Hayama-gomori - Retreat at Hayama.
A festival held between the fifteenth and the eighteenth day of the eleventh month of the lunar calendar at Kuronuma Shrine, Fukushima City.
According to a local legend, a long time ago, when the nearby hamlet of Kanesawa was being attacked by a giant crab the size of a tatami mat, seven families found shelter at Kuronuma Shrine.
There they received an oracle ( 託宣 takusen / 神託 shintaku) which enabled them to get rid of the crab.
It is said that a giant serpent (orochi) in the Abukuma River was also defeated thanks to a takusen from this shrine. The festival is held to commemorate these two events. Rites of obeisance and making mochi rice cakes are held on the fifteenth.
On the sixteenth, worshippers staying overnight at the small shrines, get naked in order to perform the yoisa rite, a pantomime of rice cultivation.
At dawn on the eighteenth, after having been purified with water, the worshippers climb Mount Hayama to recite ritual incantations (norito). There, an officiant known as the のりわら / ノリワラ noriwara acts as a medium for oracles predicting the weather, harvest and calamities for the coming year.
- source : kokugakuin Mogi Sakae -


黒沼神社 Kuronuma Jinja
福島市松川町金沢 Fukushima, Matsukawa, Kanezawa



- more photos:
- reference source : ameblo.jp/idjericho... -

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相馬郡 Soma district 飯館村 Iitate

Hayama no Kami 葉山の神 Kami of Hayama (羽山の神託)
The Noriwara wears white robes and a white headband and swings a heisoku 幣束 ritual wand.
The villagers built a ritual fire in a place separated with sacred ropes on four green bamboo poles. The Noriwara swings his ritual wand through the flames for purification (hi o shimesu火をしめす). Often the Noriwara himself jumps over the flames.

He answers to all kinds of questions:
Will I have to become a soldier and go to the army?
Will I get ill next year?
When asked, the Noriwara swings his ritual wand heavily up and down and waits till the Kami of Hayama has slipped into his body.
Then he swings the wand up and knees on the floor in reverence (神あがる kami agaru).
Now all present chant a purification prayer:
sange sange rokkon shojo さんげさんげろっこんしょうじょう.

When the Noriwara gets some salt water to drink, he comes back to his sense.
He takes a short rest and then answers to the questions of the next villager.
This ritual lasts the whole night.
At the end the Noriwara swings his wand again through the flames (hi o shimesu 火をしめす).

Then all take the offerings, go to the shrine and have a feast of the food offerings.
The ritual wand can now be placed at the entrance of a horse shed to keep the animals healthy.

The selection of a villager for Noriwara is done with great care.
Once the man had been effective, he will be chosen again and again.
A very clever and learned person is not suited for this sacred post.

If a person does not show respect for the rituals, the Noriwara might call out loud that this person will fall down near the fire.

Once a Noriwara became ill on the day of the rituals and could not attend. One of the villagers assembled at the shrine begun to pray and then became possessed by the Kami.
He jumped up and down, up and down.

Once a man called the oracle of the のりわら Noriwara a lie and laughed loud.
On the afternoon of this day it begun to rain and there was great flooding.


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福島市 Fukushima city 松川町 Matsukawa
Matuskawa is a small town outside of Fukushima City,

hayama no shintaku 羽山の神託 divination at Hayama
Kami from other mountains sometimes come for a visit and the Noriwara has to welcome them and see them off, one after the other.
Sometimes if Hayama no Kami can not show, they can take his turn during the oracle.
Sometimes it is 稲荷 Inari san, sometimes 水神 Suiji, the Kami of Water.

On Mount Hayama in 金沢 Kanezawa hamlet, people stay and pray for divination:
How will the weather be? How will the harvest turn out?
According to the divination, they make their plans for the coming year.

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One more 葉山神社 Hayama Jinja in Koriyama

福島県郡山市大槻町葉山39 / Fukushima, Koriyama, Otsukimachi, Hayama


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- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -


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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .


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- #hayamajinja #hayamashrine #hayamafukushima #noriwara #shintaku #divination -
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03/01/2018

Yamanokami kitsune fox legends

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. Yama no Kami 山の神 Yamanokami - Introduction .
. Ta no Kami 田の神 Tanokami - Introduction .
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Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain
and kitsune 狐 the fox



赤鬼狐(せきこ) 山神少女

. kitsune densetsu 狐 伝説 fox legends .

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .


............................................................................ Aichi 愛知県

豊田市 Toyota

kitsune 狐 a fox
Once a man regularly had the urge to defecate at a place sacred to Yamanokami. Every time as he squatted, he heard a strange sound of petapeta petapeta.
When he came next time, the faeces were gone, someone had eaten them. And sometimes he saw a beautiful young temple acolyte walking by.
Once he peeked between his legs and saw a fox, standing on his front legs, wiggeling with his tail, waiting for the feces - food.




............................................................................ Fukushima 福島県

相馬郡 Soma district 飯舘村 Iitate

shiro-ookami 白狼,shiro-gitsune, shirogitsune 白狐 white wolf, white fox
源頼朝 Minamoto no Yoritomo wanted to defeat a family called Sumitora 墨虎 "Black Tiger".
He brought a Mountain Deity 山神 Yamanokami and an Inari Deity 稲荷神 all the way from Kyoto and prayed for seven days and nights, with out food or sleep.
On the 15th day of the 10th lunar month, a white wolf and a white fox appeared and their footprints lead to a small sanctuary for Sanno 山王祠 high up in the forest.
He thought that was a hint from the Deities, started the battle and won it.

. Minamoto no Yoritomo 源頼朝 . - (1147 – 1199)




............................................................................ Gifu 岐阜県
武儀郡 Mugi district 板取村 Itadori

Some people say Yamanokami himself is a kitsune 狐 fox!




............................................................................ Kumamoto 熊本県

yamawaroo ヤマワロ Yamawaro Kappa
Some people say that the Yamawaro is also a 山ん神さん Yama'n Kami San, Yamanokami.
Others say he is just one rank below the real Yamanokami.
He does not play tricks on the humans, as the fox or Tanuki badger does.

. やまわろ / ヤマワロ / 山童 Yama waro "child of the mountain" .





............................................................................ Nara 奈良県

磯城郡 Shiki district

kitsune no yomeiri 狐の嫁入 fox as a bride
Every year on the third day of the New Year the fox takes a bride and Yamanokami is coming down to 天神山 Mount Tenjinyama to look at the lanterns of their procession.
If there are many lanterns there will be a good harvest this year.
If there are few lanterns there will be a bad harvest this year.

. kitsune no yome-iri 狐の嫁入り "the fox taking a bride" .

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大柳生町 Oyagyucho

. Tanokami 田の神 and the fox .





............................................................................ Shiga 佐賀県

. kitsune and 稲荷様 the rice Deity Inari sama .





............................................................................ Tochigi 栃木県

那須郡 Nasu district 大山田村 Oyamada
Once Yamanokami was angry and ordered the fox to kill a child.
Even as the mother held the baby in her arms, it disappeared mysteriously and was later found dead in the well.





............................................................................ Yamanashi 山梨県

道志村 Doshi

kitsune no koe 狐の声 voice of the fox
Yamanokami calls out ofui ofui オフイオフイ; this is the voice of a fox.



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- reference source : nichibun yokai database -




. Abe no Seimei 阿倍晴明 (921 - 1005) .
and his mother, the white fox Kuzu no ha, Kuzunoha 葛の葉

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. Yama no Kami 山の神 - Table of Contents - .

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sangaku shinkoo 山岳信仰 religion of the High Mountains is a different matter.

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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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- #yamanokami #godofthemountains #yamanokamikitsune #yamanokamifox -
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01/01/2018

Yamanokami Tanokami collecting

. Yama no Kami 山の神 Yamanokami - Introduction .
. Ta no Kami 田の神 Tanokami - Introduction .
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- collecting for Yamanokami and Tanokami -

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- Saitama 埼玉県 -


山の神


田の神

境内の妙見堂階段下に山の神(やまのかみ)の社があります。元々は近くの林の中に祀られていました。

埼玉県飯能市(はんのうし)平松376番地 // 376 Hiramatsu, Hanno-shi, Saitama
- reference source : 円泉寺 Ensen-Ji -


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- #collecting -
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shimenawa sacred rope legends

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Shinto Shrines (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
. kami 神 Shinto deities .
. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .
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shimenawa 注連縄 伝説 sacred rope - legends

You see a sacred rope at the entrance to a holy place, usually a Shinto shrine, to mark the entry into a sacred area.
They are also around sacred trees or rocks.
shimekazari 注連飾 sacred ropes for New Year decorations and many more
. shimenawa 注連縄 sacred rope - introduction .



. Join the Shimenawa friends on Facebook ! .


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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .





....................................................................... Fukushima 福島県 .....
南会津郡 Minami-Aizu district 檜枝岐村 Hinoemata village

正月のしめなわでを7つよって継ぎ足すとき、なわの尻が下を向いたときは雨、上向きは晴れ。しめなわの元のほうから1月、2月と数え、1年の天候も占う。




.......................................................................  Kagawa 香川県 .....

kuro-unagi, shiro-unagi 黒鰻,白鰻 black eel, white eel
. unagibuchi ryuuoo 鰻淵龍王 the Dragon King of the Eel Pool .

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多度津町 Tadotsu

. goshiki no tanzaku 五色の短冊 Tanzaku poetry slips of five colors .



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shimekazari 注連飾 sacred rope decoration for New Year


- reference : nichibun yokai database -
8 シメナワ (01)
9 しめなわ (00)
54 注連縄 (01)
23 注連飾 shimekazari (00)
02 注連縄 天狗

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08/11/2017

Yama no Kami Festivals matsuri

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Yama no Kami 山の神 Yamanokami - Introduction .
. Ta no Kami 田の神 Tanokami - Introduction .
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Yama no Kami matsuri 山の神祭り Yamanokami festivals
おやまのかみさままつり O-Yama no Kami Sama Matsuri
山の神祭り(やまんかんまつり) Yamankan Matsuri
山神祭 Sanjinsai - やまのかみさい Yamanokami sai
Juunikoo matsuri 十二講まつり Juniko Matsuri





. ta no kami matsuri 田の神祭り Tanokami festivals and rituals .
Including some for Yamanokami.
- Fukui, Wakasa no Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り

- Kigo for early winter
. yama no kami matsuri 山の神祭 festival for the god of the mountain .
yama no kami matsuri 山の神祭 festival for the god of the mountain
yama no maki koo 山の神講 prayer group for the god of the mountain
..... yama no koo 山の講 / 山ノ神講 (やまのこう)Yamanokami prayer group
yama no ko matsuri 山の講祭 festival of the prayer group for the god of the mountain
Held in the winter months at various shrines.
The prayer groups consisted of people who worked in the mountains. They had offerings twice a year, in early spring to open the season and in early winter to give thanks for the year.


Most festivals are held on the day 16 of a lunar month, one day after the full moon
. izayoi 十六夜 (いざよい) moon on day 16 .
In Spring to welcome Yama no Kami to the fields
In Autumn to see him off to the mountain.
Many rituals involve the offering of 16 rice dumplings.



. juuroku dango 十六団子 dumpling offerings for day 16 .

Some dates are given in the old lunar calendar, some in the modern version.

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

............................................................................ Aichi 愛知県

Sanjinsai 山神祭
People carry home some branches with flames from the festival bonfire - and there has never been a damaging fire in the village.
Even if sparks fall on dry leaves or grass, they will not cause a fire.
If people drink ritual sake and mochi rice cakes on top of the mountain to venerate Yamanokami, they will not get ill all summer.

.......................................................................
知多郡 Chita district 南知多町 Minami-Chita

mikigura 神酒倉 storehouse for ritual Sake
In 中洲 Nakasu there are eight families who prepare ritual sake (miki 神酒) for Shinto rituals.
Once there was a huge fire in Nakasu and most of the homes burned to the ground.
But the Storehouse in the middle of the village was spared !

.......................................................................
南設楽郡 Minami-Chitara district 長篠村 Nagashino

yamagami matsuri 山神祭 festival for Yamanokami
During the festival, a ritual fire is made and the villagers leave for home while the flames are still high. But there has never been a fire in the village.
The flames of the sacred fire also do not cause a fire in the woods, even if they fall on dry leaves or branches.
On top of the mountain villagers make offerings of Sake and mochi 餅 rice cakes and partake of the food afterwards. Thus they will not get ill in summer.
If they can see 伊勢の神島 Kamishima of Ise in Mie, there will be a good harvest and good fishing.





............................................................................ Ehime 愛媛県
上浮穴郡 Kamiukena district 久万町 Kuma

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭
The festival is on the 9th day of June. It is celebrated near a big tree between two villages. To cut down this tree will bring bad luck.
Every month on the 9th day the lumberjacks will not go into the mountain to cut trees.

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西条市 Saijo
山の神の祭りは旧正月5日・9月9日である。大きな木・枝が上で引っ付いている木・マタになっている木は、山の神の木なので切らないという。山の神の木をオサンバイサンという。山の神の木を切ると顔面蒼白になり、めまいなどを起こす。北向きに座らせて箕で3回仰ぐと治るが、これをミカジ(箕加持)という。

.......................................................................
内子町 Uchiko

Yamanokami no Hi Matsuri 山の神の火祭り Yamanokami Fire Festival

六角山の真下に幻想的に浮かび上がる“山ノ神”の火文字と5,000灯のオヒカリが灯されます。
文政6年から180年にわたり連綿と受け継がれて来た伝統には、山の幸と秋の豊作を祈る思いが込められています。田園に広がる夜景もさることながら、寺村商店街には、数多くの夜店が軒を連ね、花火大会・喜鼓里太鼓の演奏・カラオケ大会など祭りムード一色に染まります。
- reference source : town.uchiko.ehime.jp/soshiki... -





............................................................................ Fukui 福井県

In many parts of Fukui,
the 6th day of the 12th lunar month is Yamanokami festival and on this day the weather is usually quite rough.
People who make a living from the mountain forests venerate Yamanokami in the Tokonama alcove of their homes. They decorate it with axes, saws and sickles.
Since Yamanokami is counting the trees in the forest on this day, they will never go to the forest, fearing the deity might turn them in a tree if he sees them.

. 山ノ神講 Yamanokami prayer group .
遠敷郡 Onyu district 名田庄村 Natasho

.......................................................................
武生市 Takefu 坂口村 Sakaguchi

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 9th day of January and December. Yamanokami is quite wild and usually brings frost and snow on these days.
Some people have seen Yamanokami to ride past on a white horse on these days.
. Yamanokami riding 白馬 a white horse .

.......................................................................
敦賀市 Tsuruga

. Akasaki 赤崎 Akasaki prayer group .
yama no kami koo 山の神講 prayer group for the god of the mountain / kanko (かんこ)





............................................................................ Fukushima 福島県
南会津郡 Minami-Aizu district 檜枝岐村 Hinoe

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
If something unfortunate happens in the mountains, the hunters go back to the village and start the festival all over again (matsuri naoshi まつりなおし).
They bring the head and breast bones of a bear as offerings, sometimes even the heart of a bear as a ritual dish for Yamanokami.




............................................................................ Hyogo 兵庫県

. 山の神の祟り the curse of Yamanokami .

. festival at 香美町香住区沖浦 / Kasumiku Okinoura, Kami, Mikata .




............................................................................ Ibaraki 茨城県
西茨城郡 Nishi Ibaraki district 岩瀬町 Iwase

Sanjinsai 山神祭
The day of the festival is the 15th day of the 11th lunar month. The straw rope around the sacred tree is burned. Eating fish grilled at this fire will prevent getting a cold in winter.





............................................................................ Iwate 岩手県
雫石町 Shizukuishi

Yamanokamisama no o-matsuri ヤマノカミ様のお祭り
At the village 南畑 / ミナミハタ Minamihata they have a festival in honor of Yamanokami. They all come together, a furoshiki 風呂敷 cloth wrapper around the head, dancing in the Shrine compound and then fall asleep all together, a custom known as zakone 雑魚寝.
This is also called daki matsuri 抱き祭 festival of embracing each other.
If people do not do it, the growth of asa 麻 hemp will be bad in the coming year.




............................................................................ Niigata 新潟県

. 山の神,猿,犬 Yamanokami, monkey and dog .
The 9th day of February and December are set for rituals of Yamanokami.

.......................................................................
東蒲原郡 Higashikanbara 鹿瀬町 Kanose

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 9th day of February and December.
The 9th day is 山の神の木調べの日 the day when Yamanokami inspects the trees.

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東蒲原郡 Higashikanbara 津川町 Tsugawa

. Yamanokami oroshi 山の神おろし for the festival .
kamioroshi, kami oroshi カミオロシ / 神おろし / 神降ろし "calling a Kami to earth" for an oracle

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糸魚川市 Itoigawa

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
If people go to the mountain on the festival day of the second and 12th lunar month, they will never come back.

.......................................................................
岩船郡 Iwafune district 朝日村 Asahi

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
On February and December. The 12th day is called
山の神の木種蒔きの日 - Day when Yamanokami is planting seedlings of trees
.
On the 12th day of the 12th lunar month, they call a Yamabushi 山伏 mountain priest from 山形県小国町 Oguni village in Yamagata. He puts a sacred rope around the festival altar in the home of the tooya 頭屋 "head of the festival" / 当屋. The men of the village are dressed as shrine acolytes, have their eyes blindfold and hold a ritual wand while the Yamabushi recites the 陀羅尼 Darani Sutra. Next the villagers hit the floor with a stick while chanting the 心経 Heart Sutra. Some kind of oracle is performed, asking about the hunting season and other village affairs.
shiratsuke シラツケ or shiramono tsuke シラモノツケ.
This custom has been abolished in the early Taisho period (1912).

.......................................................................
刈羽郡 Kariwa district 小国町 Oguni


「十二講」まつり Juniko Matsuri

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 12th day of the third lunar month. The people celebrating belong to the juunikko ジュウニッコウ(十二講) Junikko.
Everyone in the village takes a rest. If someone dares to go to the forest, he will be punished by Yamanokami.
Going to the forest on the day before the festival, one has to get a purification ritual from a special priest, 太夫様 Tayu sama.
People who do not follow the Junikko rituals are not allowed to go to the forest in spring to gather firewood.



. juunisama, jūni sama 十二様 Juni Sama - Yamanokami .

.......................................................................
南蒲原郡 Minamikanbara 下田村 Shitada

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 9th day of February and December.
On the ninth day Yamanokami is sowing seedlings 種蒔きの日.
On the 12th day is the New Year for Yamanokami, where he goes 木調べ to inspect the trees.

.......................................................................
三島郡 Mishima district 三島町 Mishima

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
On the 9th day of February and December.
On this day the villagers are not allowed to use saws, sickles, howes and other tools.
Since Yamanokami is a female deity, they never make a knot in the rope around the charcoal hut with the binding of men 男結び.

.......................................................................
中頚城郡 Nakakubiki district 清里村 Kiyosato

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 8th day of February, and also called Miyama ミヤマ "Honorable Mountain".
If there are clouds in the moutain forest on this day, the harvest will be bad.

.......................................................................
佐渡郡 Sado district 相川町 Aikawa

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 9th day of February.
On this day Yamanokami is shooting arrows and nobody can enter the mountain forest.


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............................................................................ Tottori 鳥取県
岩美郡 Iwami district 岩美町 Iwami

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 9th day of February and October.
On these days Yamanokami walks through the forest and counts the trees. If a human is in the forest, he will be counted as a tree and die.
In the 荒金集落 Arakane hamlet, Yamanokami is giving birth, so nodody can go to the mountain. If anyone does, he will meet monsters and become crazy for the rest of his life.




............................................................................ Toyama 富山県
.......................................................................
氷見市 Himi

Sanjinsai 山神祭
On this festival day, Yamanokami gets drunk and nobody is allowed to disturb him.

.......................................................................
南砺市 Nanto city

Tengu han 天狗ハン Mister Tengu - Sanjinsai 山神祭
On the day of the festival, the charcoal makers take a rest, come together and offer ゴヘイモチ Goheimochi rice cakes and buri no sashimi ブリの刺身 Sashimi of yellowtail to the Tengu.
Once a man went into the forest to cut a tree, but was hit 睾丸 in the testicles by a branch of a tree and died.

.......................................................................
西砺波郡 Nishi-Tonami district 福岡町 Fukuoka

Yamanokami 山の神 / Sanjinsai 山神祭
On the festival day, Yamanokami inspects the mountian and humans are not allowed to go there.
They also should not use tools with blades on this day.




............................................................................ Yamagata 山形県
西村山郡 Nishimurayama district

Yamanokami Matsuri 山の神祭り
The festival is on the 17th day of March. On this day people do not go to the mountain. If they do and happen to meet Yamanokami, they will have bad luck for the rest of their life.

Another festival day for Yamanokami is the 12th day of the third and 12th lunar month.





............................................................................ Yamaguchi 山口県

Sanjinsai 山神祭
The day of the festival is the 26th day of the 2nd lunar month.
People bring yamaimo 山芋 yam as offerings, but they are not allowed to whistle in the compound or underground in the coal mines. To kill a dog was forbidden.
There were other taboos concerning the tankoo 炭鉱 coal mines.

.......................................................................


- - - - - Yamanokami as the protector deity of the coal mines.



古河好間炭鉱山神祭(昭和20年) Koga Yoshima Tanko Saijinsai Festival
Fukushima



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- reference source : nichibun yokai database -

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. Yama no Kami 山の神 - Table of Contents - .

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sangaku shinkoo 山岳信仰 religion of the High Mountains is a different matter.

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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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- #yamanokami #godofthemountains #matsuri #yamanokamimatsuri #sanjinmatsuri -
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Yamanokami Inugami Wolf Deity

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
. Yama no Kami 山の神 Yamanokami - Introduction .
. Ta no Kami 田の神 Tanokami - Introduction .
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Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountain
and his messenger, the Yamainu 山犬 Wolf




I use the term Yamainu do refer to the wolf as the messenger of Yamanokami.
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- - - - - Yamanokami has some animal messengers :

. Sarugami 猿神 The Monkey Deity .

. yamainu 山犬 wolf - "mountain dog" .

. inoshishi 猪 wild boar .

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- quote -
Inugami 犬神 "Dog Deity"
Japanese folklore describes Inugami as zoomorphic or anthropomorphic, dog-like beings, often similar to werewolves. They are masters of black magic and similar to the Shikigami.
Like the possession of a fox, kitsunetsuki, it is a spiritual possession by the spirit of a dog, widely known in Western Japan.

. Inugami from Oita 大分県 .

. Inugami and Legends with tofu  豆腐伝説 .


. NUE, nue 鵺, 鵼, 恠鳥, or 奴延鳥 the Nue monster .
- - - - - The cursed Nue came floating in the sea to Shikoku.
Its head landed in Sanuki and became a monkey deity.
Its tail landed in Iyo and became a serpent deity.
Its hands and feet landed in Tosa and became a dog deity 犬神 Inugami .


. yama-inu, yamainu 山犬、豺 "mountain dog" - wolf .
Legends about the wolf, not related to Yamanokami.

. Wolf Worship in Japan .
Mitsumine Jinja 三峰神社 and other shrines

- under construction
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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

. Yamanokami and Tengu 天狗 the Mountain Goblin .


....................................................................... Aichi 愛知県 .....

Yamainu 山犬
In the mountains live Yamanokami (Yamainu) and 天狗 Tengu. Deep mountains and high mountains are their special places and duly venerated.





....................................................................... Ehime 愛媛県 .....

yama no mamono 山の魔物 monster of the mountain
When building a new home, farmers tried to avoid the foot of a mountain protruding in a plain. This was the living space of the wolf, messenger of Yamanokami and of other mountain monsters.
If someone built a house there, his family would be cursed.

.......................................................................
今治市 Imabari

Inugami 犬神 / イヌガミ
In olden times people have been feeling tsukimono 憑き物 possessed by many things, like a muenbotoke 無縁仏 grave of an unknown person, hebigami 蛇神 Serpent Deity, Inugami 犬神 Dog Deity, 稲荷 Inari the Fox Deity
or even 山の神 Yamanokami.
Possessed by the Serpent Deity they could not speak any more.
Possessed by the Dog Deity they begun to bark like a dog.
Possessed by Inari they begun to eat abura-age 油揚げ fried Tofu.
Once a woman from the village married to a man in a different village, but because her family had a history of possessions, she took that with her and now this kind of possession happened in her new home and village too.

.......................................................................
南宇和郡 Minami-Uwa district

Yamainu 山犬 - yosuzume 夜雀 sparrows at night
Once an old woman was coming home from 岩松 Iwamatsu late at night, when Yamainu was surrounded by chirping sparrows. The Yamainu jumped around and made some sound too.

.......................................................................
四国中央市 Shikoku Chuo

Yamainu 山犬
家を建てるときは尾先きを忌地として嫌う。ここは山の神の使いである山犬や山の魔物が尾根づたいに歩いて来る場所で、この地に家を建てると必ず祟りがある。






....................................................................... Fukushima 福島県 .....

Yamainu 山犬
At the entrance to 奥の院 the mountain temple people offer eggs, mochi 餅 rice cakes, vegetables or fish.
If they find some of these eaten half-way by a Yamainu, they take the rest and eat it themselves as
o-te tsuita 御手付いだ "he has partaken of it".
At the mountain temple are also votive tablets of Yamainu. They will keep away conscriptions to the army and protect from bullets.


.......................................................................
石城郡 Iwaki district 田人村 Tabito

Yamainu 山犬
In 1883 someone got an amulet from Mitsumine Shrine and put it up. Since then the damage by wolves has subsided.



.......................................................................
相馬郡 Soma district 飯館村 Iitate

Yamainu 山犬
As a messenger of Yamanokami he can hide in small amounts of grass (三寸の草がくれ).
(This expression is also used for brown bears.)

.......................................................................
田村郡 Tamura district 小野町 Ono

Yamainu 山犬
If people walked in the forest in olden times, wolves would come after them, so they hang a hinawa 火縄 glimmering rope from the belt.
There were also many farmers being possessed by Yamainu. But the Yamainu would not bite a human, unless the human was lying on the ground, having fallen down.
If the Yamainu was jumping over a human, he would pee and the urin come into the eyes, making the human almost blind.
So while walking in the mountains, you better look down and do not stumble.






....................................................................... Gunma 群馬県 .....

碓氷郡 Usui district 松井田町 Matsuida

Yamainu 山犬
The monkey (saru) is also a messenger of Yamanokami, so the word SARU サル was not to be used while working in the mountains.




....................................................................... Kagawa 香川県 .....

Yamainu 山犬
In the mountains is a road where evil spirits pass (Mashoosuji 魔性筋 Masho, Evil Spirit Road").
Even if farmers are in a hurry and have to take this road, they will hear strange noises. If they pray to Yamanokami for help. a wolf will come along and show them the road.

Yamainu 山犬
Once a man was on his way back home from cutting tobacco leaves, but was very tired. From the place with the sanctuary of Yamanokami a Yamainu was following him until he was back home safe.
If people get lost in the mountains, a Yamainu often comes to lead them to safety.

.......................................................................
仲多度郡 Nakatado district 琴南町 Kotonami

Yamainu san 山犬さん
If people spent the night in a mountain hut but have to go home fast for some reason, they must be careful not to meet monsters on the road.
If they are in peril, they call out
"Yama no Kami san tasukete kudasare" 「山の神さん助けてくだされ」Please, Yamanokami, come and help me!
then two wolves come along and lead him the way home.





....................................................................... Nagano 長野県 .....

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東筑摩郡 Higashi-Chikuma district 四賀村 Shiga

Yamainu 山犬 - 天狗 Tengu
Tengu as an incarnation of Yamanokami is quite wild, but Tengu is not an ancestor deity.

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北安曇野郡 Kita-Azumino district 小谷村 Otari

Yamainu 山犬 - 天狗 Tengu
The Tengu of this village is a monster with one eye and one leg.
Also called Chinba チンバ (the lame one) in Matsumotodaira 松本平, the Matsumoto plain.

.......................................................................
下伊那郡 Shimoina district, Shimo-Ina 天龍村 Tenryu

Yamainu 山犬
Once a hunter wanted to have a young Yamainu and prayed to Yamanokami. He granted his wish and gave him two puppies. Once he went hunting but could not find anything, so he made a fire to rest.
He said to the wolves: "I will have a bite and go to sleep here. Since I could not find anything today, you will have to go without food, I am very sorry."
The wolves put their tails in water and extinguished the fire many times. He thought that was strange and climbed on a tree to have a look. He saw the wolves biting into his straw coat on the ground and finally realized they wanted to kill him. So he shot them. Then he prayed for their souls.

O-Inu sama お犬様
At the 太子堂 Taishi-Do temple hall the object of veneration is the skull of a Yamainu. The 村松家 Muramatsu family takes care of the sanctuary. Their ancestor had once shot a wolve and then realizet it was a Yamainu, so he prayed for his soul and handed the custom down in his family.

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Yamainu 山犬 - 六ツ地蔵 / ムツジゾウ Mutsu Jizo - Six Jizo
On the border between Nagano and Aichi there is a memorial mound called Mutsu Jizo (the normal reading is roku Jizo).
This mound is not very old. Once during a strong rain six human skeletons were washed down and then buried and venerated here. The seventh man of this group had survived to tell the story. He had been rescued by a Yamainu showing him the way to the village 三河の富山村漆島 Tomiyama in Aichi.
The Yamainu is venerated in this region as the messenger of Yamanokami.





....................................................................... Shizuoka 静岡県 .....

Yamainu 山犬
Once a couple was preparing the mountain fields, burning down the bushes. When they took a break, ate their rice and made some tea, they forgot to make an offering of some ears of rice to Yamanokami. That night Yamainu were howling all night around their home. After that, they never forgot to make the offerings.






....................................................................... Tokushima 徳島県 .....

. Inugami and suikazura スイカズラ / 吸葛 / 忍冬 honeysuckle .

In 徳島県三好郡祖谷山 the Iya valley of Tokushima there is a kind of Inugami monster called Suikazura.
It is said to be a bit larger than a rat and lives in the warmth of the hearth in homes.


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- reference source : nichibun yokai database -

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source : ..ryo-jin.at.webry.info..

2匹の山犬を両脇に従えた山の神。Scroll of Yamanokami with 2 Yamainu at his side.
On the right is the deity 大山祗神(おおやまつみ) Oyamatsumi,
on the left his daughter 木花咲耶姫命(このはなさくやひめ) Konohanasakuya Hime.


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. jūni sama 十二様 Juni Sama, "Honorable 12" mountain deities, .

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. Yama no Kami 山の神 - Table of Contents - .

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sangaku shinkoo 山岳信仰 religion of the High Mountains is a different matter.

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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

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