shinza - seat of the deity


shinza 神座 / 神籬 seat of the deity, divine seat, divine throne

It can be a real throne, or a sacred mountain or aother item where the deity can reside.

source : takaoka.zening.info

seated male deity 男神座像 at the shrine Futagami Imizu Jinja 二上射水神社 in Toyama


The place within a shrine where symbols of the kami (mitamashiro) are enshrined.

In Shrine Shinto, a building is constructed as a place to worship the kami. Within that building a shinza is established, decorated in a manner appropriate for a dwelling of the kami, and furnished with an object (called a shintai) representing the presence of the kami.

Accordingly, the form that the shinza takes may vary widely depending on the architectural style of the shrine's sanctuary (honden). In shrines of
the shinmeizukuri style, the preferred type of shinza is called ontamanai;
in the nagarezukuri style, the michōdai type is suitable, and
in the gongenzukuri style, the otoku type is appropriate.

The term ontamanai can also be written with characters meaning "a jewel is present," indicating a beautiful seat for the kami. Four pillars are built on bases set in each of the four corners, and these four pillars in turn support a decorated roof. Representative examples include the Grand Shrines of Ise, the Atsuta Shrine, and other shrines in the shinmeizukuri style.

The michōdai style consists of a raised seat surrounded by a screen and is based on the same structure found in the main rooms of shindenzukuri-style dwellings built by Heian-period nobles. Many shrines are constructed in this style.

The otoku style originates with the mitana (storage cabinets) used in the food-preparation room (mizushidokoro) of the palace. The divine seat here takes the form of a cabinet with two doors that open to the front. Examples include those found at Kashima Jingū and Dazaifu Tenmangū.
Other styles of shinza are also called takamikura, hirashiki, daishōji, omiya, and shin'yo.
source : Okada Yoshiyuki, Kokugakuin

Since the Japanese tenno 天皇 Tenno was considered a deity, his resting places are included.

Exhibition of Takamikura and Michodai

daishooji 大床子
hinoomashi 昼後座(ひのおまし)
hirashiki 平敷
mitamashiro, mitama-shiro 御霊代
michoodai 御帳台 Michodai
mitana 御棚 "honorable shelf"
omiya 御宮
ontamanai 御玉奈井(おんたまない)
otoku 御櫝(おとく)
shinyo 神輿 - mikoshi portable shrine
shintai 神体 "body of the deity", for example Mount Fuji, Fujisan 富士山
shooji 床子(しょうじ) throne with four legs
takamikura 高御座 "throne for the deity (Tenno)"

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

michoodai 御帳台 Michodai, micho-dai, "throne for the deity" or for the Emperor or Empress
a nobleman's room for living or sleeping


In Shinto, shintai (神体, body of the kami), or go-shintai (御神体, sacred body of the kami) when the honorific prefix go- is used, are physical objects worshipped at or near Shinto shrines as repositories in which spirits or kami reside.
Shintai used in Shrine Shinto (Jinja Shinto) can be also called mitamashiro (御霊代, spirit replacement or substitute?).
In spite of what their name may suggest, shintai are not themselves part of kami, but rather just temporary repositories which make them accessible to human beings for worship.
Shintai are also of necessity yorishiro, that is objects by their very nature capable of attracting kami.

The most common shintai are man-made objects like mirrors, swords, jewels (for example comma-shaped stones called magatama), gohei (wands used during religious rites), and sculptures of kami called shinzō (神像), but they can be also natural objects such as stones, mountains, trees and waterfalls.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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

shinza no yuki mo ochiba mo hakare-keri

even from the divine seat
the snow and the fallen leaves
have to be swept

Murakami Haruki 村上春樹


zabuton o tsumite kami no za sato-kagura

the seating cushions
are piled up high at the divine seat -
Kagura dance in the village

Morio Akiko 盛生晶子

. WKD : Kagura Dance 神楽 .


kami no za o kumo kite tsutsumu yamabiraki

the seat of the deity
is wrapped in clouds -
start of the climbing season

Fujitani Shie 藤谷紫映

Fujitani san has written more poems about Mount Fuji.

. WKD : yamabiraki 山開 "opening the mountain" .
start of the mountain climbing season - humanity kigo for late summer

source : hisasann.com/digital

five layers of clouds on Mount Fuji - a very special moment - June 2007 !
(The photo is a fake, it seems, but suits the poem . . .)

- CLICK HERE - for more Fuji photos -




1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Legend about shintai 神体 the Body of Kami
神石郡 Jinseki district 神石高原町 Kogencho town // 石神さん

A 伊勢参りの旅人 pilgrim to the Ise Shrine forgot a package on iwa 岩 a rock, but the villagers found it. First then wanted to throw it away but the next day they put it back in the rock. This went on for a few days and eventually they opened it.
Inside were tamagushi 玉串 branch offerings. The villagers placed them on the rock and venerated them as shintai 神体 the Body of Kami.
Later a stone mason wanted to split the rock, but red blood came out of it.
The stone had originally been the size of a bed, but now it begun to grow more and more into the sky.