Wakasa Kamo Jinja


Wakasa Kamo Jinja 加茂神社
Wakasa Kamo Jinja 加茂神社 Kamisha 上社 Upper Shrine

O Ikemono Jinji (オイケモノ神事)

Jan 16th in lunar calendar, corresponds to Feb 25th in 2-013.

"Oikemono Jinji (オイケモノ神事)" will be held at
Kamo Jinja Kamisha (加茂神社上社; upper-left in the picture) in Wakasa, Fukui.

Oikemono Jinji is an annual and unique ritual to perform divination of this year's harvest, and it was continuously held since about 1000 years ago.
One year ago, seven kinds of tree seeds (e.g. acorn; upper-right in the picture) were put into a cedar box and has been placed below ground for a year at a special place in the precincts. On the day of ritual, the cedar box will be grubbed up, and new seeds in a box will be placed at the same location instead (lower-left in the picture).
The old box will be open up at the shrine's meeting hall by the shrine parishioners to look over the seedling (lower-right in the picture). If they find the buds and roots grow well, they make a declaration of promise for good crops in this year (even if not, they still make a "hopeful" declaration).

It is believed that the enshrined deity "Yama-no-kami (山の神)" is involved in the seeding. This is very interesting and primitive animism-style ritual which we must conserve generation to generation.

Interestingly, this ritual is not only religious but also scientific.
And more interestingly, this shrine doesn't have a building at all. As shown in the picture, there is only an Iwasaka (磐境, or Himorogi 神籬), which is a swath of sacred land surrounded by rocks. This is kind a primitive shrine.

- Shared by Taisaku Nogi - FB 2013-

source : kepco.co.jp/wakasa/tanpou

今年も「豊作」小浜で発芽占い神事 小浜・加茂で「オイケモノ」
... 午前10時ごろ、前野年宏区長(43)や氏子総代、宮川小児童ら約40人が社務所に集合。今年埋納するクリやギンナンといった7種類の木の実と、「牛の舌」と呼ばれる餅を木箱に入れた。木箱や弓矢、供え物などをそれぞれが持ち、昨年木箱を根元に埋めたムクの神木がある「上宮(かみのみや)」に向かった。

source : www.fukuishimbun.co.jp

. Yama no Kami 山の神 God of the Mountains .
Ta no Kami, God of the Rice Fields 田の神


Sending off Water from the Temple Jinguuji 神宮寺 Jingu-Ji
Obama (in Wakasa) to the Nigatsudo, o mizu okuri お水送り
at U-no-se (鵜の瀬)" River Unose

. O-Mizutori お水取り Drawing Holy Water .

O no Mai (oo no mai 王の舞) dance of the king
. Uwase Shrine (宇波西神社), Mikata, Wakasa .

. Jinguuji 神宮寺 Jingu-Ji .
Buddhist temples associated with Shinto shrines
(with a photo of the inner sanctuary 若狭神宮寺内陣.


source : iiduna.blog
富士山本宮浅間大社 Asama Taisha, Fujiyama

Iwasaka 磐境

A stone altar or cairn erected in ancient times for the purpose of invoking the presence of a kami at times of worship. According to an "alternative tradition" describing the episode of the "Descent of the Heavenly Grandchild" (tenson kōrin) in the Nihongi, Takamimusubi erected a "heavenly himorogi" (divine tree) and "heavenly iwasaka" for the purpose of paying ritual worship to the divine grandchild. This passage thus indicates that both himorogi and iwasaka were built together.

Debates have continued since the Edo period regarding whether actual stones were used in such structures and it was thought that none of the actual sites would ever be discovered. To a limited extent, however, evidence from sites of rock cairns like the Taki-matsuri no kami within the Grand Shrine of Ise; the temporary shrines of the festival confraternities (kō) in the city of Sakurai, Nara Prefecture; and other archaeological discoveries suggest that relatively small rocks were collected within delimited areas to be used as a "divine seat" or altar for worship.

Further, most such sites seem to have been decorated with a himorogi or a branch of the sakaki tree. Such iwasaka were either square or round, and represented by a raised cairn of stones in a flat area, although in some cases they appear to have involved a somewhat larger stone placed in the center of the cairn.
Some theories suggest that the word is synonymous with iwakura.
source : Sugiyama Shigetsugu, Kokugakuin 2005

. iwakura 岩座 /磐座 sacred rocks .


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Himorogi , Hiborogi, Himoroki 神籬

Originating in ancient times, himorogi refers to a temporarily erected sacred space or "altar" used as a locus of worship. Today, himorogi are represented by the demarcation of a physical area with branches of green bamboo or sakaki at the four corners, between which are strung sacred border ropes (shimenawa). In the center of the area a large branch of sakaki festooned with sacred emblems (hei) is erected as a yorishiro, a physical representation of the presence of the kami and toward which rites of worship are performed. In more elaborate cases, a himorogi may be constructed by placing a rough straw mat upon the ground, then erecting a ceremonial 8-legged stand (hakkyaku an) upon the mat and decorating the stand with a framework upon which are placed sacred border ropes and sacred border emblems. Finally the sakaki branch is erected in the center of this stand as the focus of worship.

Since the Edo period, various attempts have been made to understand the derivation of the word himorogi. Early appearances of the word include the expression "heavenly himorogi" (ama tsu himorogi) in the account of the "descent of the heavenly grandchild" (tenson kōrin) as found in "alternate writing" outlined in Book II of the Nihongi. The word also appears later in the Nihongi in the account of the reign of Emperor Sujin, where it states that a shikataki himorogi (probable meaning: "an altar of firm stones") was erected in the village of Yamato no Kasanui and used for the worship of Amaterasu ōmikami.

A passage from the reign of Emperor Suinin relates that of the "divine treasures of Izushi" (Izushi no kandakara) brought by the Korean prince Amenohihoko, one was called a kuma-himorogi (meaning obscure). The Man'yōshū likewise includes phrases such as "though I dedicate an altar on the divine mountain" (kamunabi ni himorogi tatete iwaedomo), making it clear that these expressions refer to temporary altars constructed for worship.

During the Aoi Festival at the Kyoto shrine Kamo Wakeikazuchi Jinja, the "sacred seat" (miare dokoro) is represented by a square space surrounded by green branches, in the center of which is placed an evergreen tree, and this structure can likewise be considered one form of the practice in which a kami descends to a space surrounded by such sacred borders. Other practices related to this custom might include the sacred fences (mizugaki and shibagaki) found surrounding shrines, and the fence of branches surrounding a new emperor's enthronement palace (Daijōkyū).
source : Sugiyama Shigetsugu, Kokugakuin 2005


Iwasaka Shinmei Jinja 磐境神明神社
shrine in Tokushima




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