19/10/2013

Nakayama Jinja Tsuyama

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Nakayama Jinja 中山神社 - and - Saru Jinja 猿神社

岡山県津山市一宮695 Okayama, Tsuyama town

The first shrine of Mimasaka no Kuni 美作国一宮.
Also called Chuuzen or Chuuzan.



中山神社(なかやまじんじゃ)は、岡山県津山市一宮にある神社。式内社(名神大社)、美作国一宮。

社名は現在「なかやま」と読むが、かつては「ちゅうぜん」「ちゅうざん」と音読みしていた。
別称として
仲山大明神、南宮とも。


- - - - - Deities in Residence
Kagami Tsukuri no kami 鏡作神 Deity for making mirrors
Ame no Nukado no kami 天糠戸神 (あめのぬかどのかみ)(Ame-no-nuka-do-no kami)
- - - - (father of Ishikoridome)
Ishikoridome no kami 石凝姥神 (いしこりどめのかみ)(Ishi-kori-dome-no-kami)
- - - - the Deity of Rice Cakes
- see below -


Built in 707, on the third day of the 4th lunar month.



In the precincts is a huge keyaki tree. 祝木のケヤキ / 欅 zelkova tree
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. keyaki 欅 伝説 Legends about the Zelkova tree .

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- quote
Said to have been built in 707, this is the Ichinomiya shrine of the Mimasaka Province. It has been known as the deity of cows and horses since ancient times.
The main shrine was rebuilt by Amako Haruhisa in 1559 and has been designated as a national important cultural property.
The characteristic shrine architecture can be seen in the hip-and-gable roof structure and the entrance on the gable side. This architectural structure is called "Nakayama-zukuri" and is the main current of shrine architecture in the Mimasaka region.

The shrine gate has been designated as an important cultural property by Tsuyama City and was made by dismantling and reconstructing the Shikyaku-mon gate (style with four supporting pillars and a gabled roof) of Tsuyama Castle.

The rear shrine is a monkey shrine that appeared in the Konjaku Monogatari (31-volume collection of stories written during the late Heian period).

The Otaue Festival (seasonal planting of rice on a field affiliated with a shrine), held on April 29, is a festival to pray for a bountiful crop that features a dance of male and female lions accompanied by flutes and drums, and a performance by farmers waving their hoes around as if planting rice in the fields.
- source : www.tsuyama-kanko.jp

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Saru Jinja 猿神社



- quote
The monkey messenger is also known as Sarugami (猿神; literally “monkey kami”). Sarugami is the Shinto deity to whom the three monkeys (hear, speak, see no evil) are reportedly faithful.
The monkey shrine at Nakayama Shrine 中山神社 in Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture, is dedicated to a red monkey named Sarugami, who blesses couples with children.

According to shrine legends, the local people at one time offered human sacrifices (using females) to this deity. The shrine is mentioned in the Konjaku Monogatari-shu (今昔物語集), a collection of over 1000 tales from India, China, and Japan written during the late Heian Period (794-1192 AD).
- source : www.onmarkproductions.com - Mark Schumacher


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- quote by Gerard Taaffe
I highly recommend a visit to Nakayama Shrine about 3 km north of Shuraku-en. Built in 707 at the end of the Asuka Period (593-710), this shrine is dedicated to the god of cattle and horses.

In its precincts there is also a monkey shrine that is mentioned in the collection of 11th-century “once-upon-a-time” tales titled “Konjaku Monogatari.” Attached to this old shrine is a lovely preserved mixed woodland covering almost 7 hectares, whose trees, insects and birds have all been carefully cataloged by the shrine office.

In front of the 11-meter stone torii erected in 1791 at the entrance to the shrine there is a sacred keyaki (Zelkova serrata) that is reckoned to be 800 years old. This hollow-centered tree (also known as a shinboku) is only 10 meters tall, but at one time it must have been much higher judging by its trunk, which is 20 meters in diameter.

Adjacent to the torii there is a 500-year-old muku-no-ki (Aphananthe aspera), a deciduous tree which, like the keyaki, belongs to the elm family (Ulmaceae).

Finally, in this veritable arboretum just in front of the main shrine building, you will also come across a fine specimen of akagashi (red oak or Japanese evergreen oak; Quercus acuta). This species has leathery, oblong-ovate leaves that are 7-15 cm long with glossy upper surfaces and no teeth on the margin. This oak yields fine hard-grained timber whose reddish color has given the tree its Japanese name.
- source : Japan Times, 2002


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- Reference : 日本語

- Reference : English


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


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kagamitsukuri, Kagami Tsukuri no Muraji
This family or clan of mirror makers for the Shinto deities are offspring from Ame no Nukado and Ishikoridome.
イシコリドメは作鏡連らの祖神である.

- quote
from A SCROLL OF GLEANINGS
FROM - ANCIENT STORIES TOGETHER WITH A PREFACE
BY
IMBE-NO-SUKUNE-HIRONARI, LOWER GRADE OF THE JUNIOR FIFTH COURT RANK
Inbe no Hironari 斎部広成

snip
Whereupon Amaterasu-Ō-Mikami was greatly incensed, and entering into the Heavenly Rock-Cave, closed its door and concealed herself therein. Consequently, the eternal night of darkness prevailed, so that no one could distinguish between the day and the night. And all the gods were dismayed and, to their great inconvenience, all business was transacted by artificial light. Then p. 20 Takami-Musubi-no-Kami summoned a council of the Eighty Myriads of Gods on the Dry-Bed-of-the-Eight-Sand-Bank-River in Heaven, and enquired what measures should be taken in order to rectify matters. In response Omoikane-no-Kami, the God of Profound Knowledge and Foresight, proposed the following scheme to induce Amaterasu-Ō-Mikami to return from her hiding place in the Rock-Cave.

Futotama-no-Kami was to be appointed to make “nigite,” i.e., offerings of fine cloth, in aid of the gods of different callings. Ishikoritome-no-Kami (from whom the Kagamitsukuri or Mirror-making family is sprung and who is the child of Ame-no-Nukado-no-Mikoto) was to construct a mirror, resembling in form the disc of the sun, i.e., an image of Amaterasu-Ō-Mikami, out of copper brought from the Heavenly Mt. Kagu.

Nagashiraha-no-Kami (Ancestor of the Omi family in Ise Province—“shiraha,” the ordinary name of cloth at the present day, originated from the name of this god) was to plant hemp and make “aonigite,” i.e., offerings of fine blue-coloured hempen cloth. Ame-no-Hiwashi-no-Kami and Tsukuimi-no-Kami were bidden to make “shiranigite,” i.e., offerings of fine white cloth woven from the paper mulberry (tradition says that at that time, both hemp and mulberry grew luxuriantly in a night after being planted).
snip
Thus doing, as Omoikane-no-Kami had suggested, they first tried to construct a mirror, as an image of the Sun-Goddess; but as the first mirror made by Ishikoritome-no-Kami was slightly defective and therefore unfit for use (this Mirror is the Deity at Hinokuma in Ki-I Province), a second was moulded which was ideally beautiful (this Mirror is the Deity of the Ise Shrine).
- source : www.sacred-texts.com


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1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Nakayama Jinja - Rice Planting Festival
April 29th
This festival worships the god of farming and prays for an abundant harvest. About two dozen plowmen swing plows and pretend to plant rice while a lion dances to the music of the flutes and drums.

Tsuyama Town Festivals
http://wkdfestivalsaijiki.blogspot.jp/2011/12/tsuyama-town-festivals.html
.