20/03/2016

Tamawakasu Mikoto Shrine Shimane

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. Shinto Shrine (jinja 神社) - Introduction .
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Tamawakasumikoto Jinja 玉若酢命神社 Tamawakasu Mikoto Shrine, Shimane
若酢大明神 Wakasu Daimyojin. 総社明神



島根県隠岐郡隠岐の島町下西701 / 701 Shimonishi, Okinoshima-chō, Oki-gun, Shimane

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Tamawakasu-no-mikoto Shrine
This shrine is the main general shrine of Oki, and was constructed in the Oki architectural style. Every year on 5 June an important festival called 御霊会 Gorei-furyū takes place in which eight sacred horses carrying the gods from eight different areas around the island gallop up to the shrine entrance.



Next door to the shrine is the Oki-ke Family Residence, where the head priest of the Tamawakasu-mikoto Shrine has lived for many, many generations. Inside is a small museum of important historical artifacts that were passed on through the generations, including the eki-rei station bells that originated in 646 and are the only ones remaining in Japan.
These treasures, the residence and the shrine are Important Cultural Property of Japan.

- - - - - Also introduced on this page are
Amasashihikono-mikoto Shrine あまさしひこみことじんじゃ - 隠岐神社
Kuniga Shrine 国賀神社
Mizuwakasu Shrine 水若酢神社
Yurahime Shrine  由良比女神社
- source : kankou-shimane.com -

. Takuhi Jinja 焼火神社 Takuhi Shrine .
Shooka Gongen 焼火権現 Shoka Gongen,Ooyama Gongen 大山権現 Oyama Gongen

Mizuwakasu Shrine 水若酢神社
The daughter of the head priest of the 祇官忌部家 Inbei family and becomes the bride of the 龍蛇 Ryuja Dragon-Serpent which resides in the pond.

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CLICK for more photos of the festival !
玉若酢命神社御霊会 (ごれえ)

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The biggest island in the Oki region is Dogo and on this island is located Tamawakasumikoto-jinja Shrine which enshrines numerous gods. The main shrine is a historic building with a thatched roof and is actually the Oki region’s oldest shrine building. The shrine has been constructed in a unique Oki architectural style and in 1992 it was designated as national important cultural property.
The highlight of the shrine grounds is a 30m tall cedar with 20m roots that is more than 2000 years old, commonly called "Yaosugi".
The tree’s name of Yaosugi comes from the legend of Yao Bikuni, which involves an immortal woman named
Yao Bikuni who is said to have planted this tree and then come back 800 years later to see how the tree was doing. The tree itself is designated as a natural national treasure.
Every year on June 5 the Gorei Furyu festival is held. This festival involves 8 horses carrying the 8 gods of the island to the shrine where they gather.
- source : japanhoppers.com/chugoku

- - - - - Deities in residence - - - - -
玉若酢命 Tamawakasu no Mikoto
大己貴命 Okuninushi
須佐之男命 Susanoo
稲田姫命 Kushinadahime
事代主命 Kotoshironushi
須世理姫命 Suserihime


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shuin 朱印 stamp

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umajiya no suzu, umasha no suzu 駅鈴(うまじやのすず)horse station bells
ekirei, eki-rei 駅鈴(えきれい)
post road bells (ekiro no suzu 駅路(えきろ)のすず) or
stable bells (umaya no suzu うまやのすず) / うま舎 - 馬舎(うまや)
. Shimane Folk Art - 島根県 .




- reference : eonet.ne.jp/~i-kimoto/Furusato -

In memory of Emperor Kotoku (孝徳天皇, 596?-654) Kōtoku around 646, who had horses for messengers stationed here and in many other parts of Japan.
駅馬 - horses for the messengers of the Emperor
伝馬 - packhorses for luggage
Emperor Kotoku choose the era name Taika (“Great Change”) for the first half of his reign.

- - - - - HP of the Shrine
- source : wikipedia -


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Station bell
Under the Japanese ritsuryō system, station bells or post bells (駅鈴 ekirei) were bells of red copper issued by the central government or by local provincial government offices to travelling officials or messengers known as ekishi (駅使). Functioning as a proof of identity, they allowed them to procure horses and labour at post stations. These post stations were located every 30 ri (16 kilometers) each providing between five and twenty messenger horses depending on the grade of the road.
Depending on the rank of the emissary, the bells were marked with a number of notches regulating the number of horses that could be requested. A prince of royal blood of first rank would receive ten horses. On urgent dispatches the ekishi would ride with the bells ringing in order to be able to change horses at any time of day or night without delay. These bells were also known as
post road bells (ekiro no suzu 駅路(えきろ)のすず) or stable bells (umaya no suzu うまやのすず).
The system was established in the Taihō Code from 701 and was in use until the end of the 12th century or the end of the Heian period when it fell in disuse together with the demise of the centralized state.

A set of two station bells located on Dōgo island in Okinoshima, Shimane Prefecture and known as
Ekirei of Oki Province (隠岐国駅鈴 oki no kuni ekirei) has been designated as Important Cultural Property of Japan.
Attached to the nomination is a six-legged Chinese style chest bestowed by Emperor Kōkaku. The bells have been handed down in the Oki family whose members were associated with the
Tamawakasu no Mikoto Shrine (玉若酢命神社 tamawakasu no mikoto jinja) and the regional administrators of Oki Province. They are currently located in the Oki family treasure hall (億岐家宝物館 Oki-ke Hōmotsu-kan) in Okinoshima.
The two bells are of flat octagonal shape and made of cast copper. On one side of the trunk the character "駅" (station) is carved, and on the opposite side, the character "鈴" (bell). At the bottom of the bells three and four legs are attached respectively. They weigh in at 700 g (25 oz) and 770 g (27 oz) respectively. Before World War II, the bells had been designated as National Treasure of Japan on April 30, 1935, but lost this status in the reorganisation of cultural property protection after the war when all previously designated National Treasures were demoted to Important Cultural Properties in 1950.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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Taika Reform 大化の改新
The Reform Edicts severely curtailed the independence of regional officials, creating an effective, centralized imperial government, and constituted the imperial court as a place where the people could bring their appeals and complaints.
..... Barriers and outposts shall be erected, and guards and post horses for transportation and communication purposes shall be provided. Furthermore bell-tokens shall be made and mountains and rivers shall be regulated. .....
..... A separate household tax (kocho) shall also be levied, under which each household shall pay one rod and two feet of cloth, and a surtax consisting of salt and offerings. The latter may vary in accordance with what is produced in the locality. With regard to horses for public service, one horse of medium quality shall be contributed by every one hundred households, or one horse of superior quality by every two hundred households. If the horses have to be purchased, each household shall contribute one rod and two feet of cloth toward the purchase price.
- source : newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Taika_Reforms -


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The Taika Reforms 大化の改新 Taika no Kaishin
were a set of doctrines established by Emperor Kōtoku (孝徳天皇 Kōtoku-tennō) in the year 645. They were written shortly after the death of Prince Shōtoku, and the defeat of the Soga clan (蘇我氏 Soga no uji), uniting Japan. The reforms also artistically marked the end of the Asuka period and the beginning of the Hakuhō period.[1][2] Crown Prince Naka no Ōe (who would later reign as Emperor Tenji), Nakatomi no Kamatari, and Emperor Kōtoku jointly embarked on the details of the Reforms. Emperor Kōtoku then took the name "Taika" (大化), or "Great Reform".

The Reform began with land reform, based on Confucian ideas and philosophies from China, but the true aim of the reforms was to bring about greater centralization and to enhance the power of the imperial court, which was also based on the governmental structure of China. Envoys and students were dispatched to China to learn seemingly everything from the Chinese writing system, literature, religion, and architecture, to even dietary habits at this time. Even today, the impact of the reforms can still be seen in Japanese cultural life.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !



source : 幸麿の研究所

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Emperor Kōtoku 孝徳天皇 Kōtoku-tennō
(596 – November 24, 654) was the 36th emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession.
The years of his reign lasted from 645 through 654.
He enacted the Taika Reform Edicts.
..... The years of Kōtoku's reign are more specifically identified by more than one era name or nengō.
Taika 大化 (645–650)
Hakuchi 白雉 (650–655)

- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Taika 大化
a Japanese era name (年号, nengō,, lit. "year name") during the reign of Kōtoku.
The Taika era immediately preceded the Hakuchi era. This period spanned the years from August 645 through February 650.
..... Events of the Taika era
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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- Reference : 玉若酢命神社
- Reference : English


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

. kami 神 Shinto deities - ABC-LIST - .

- #tamawakasumikoto #okinoshimashimane #ekirei-
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