Aug 28, 2012

出雲大社 Izumo Taisha


I went to Izumo city, the home of Japanese myths and legends.
You can see many myth related things there.  
For example, I (was shocked^^ when I ) saw this picture at the Izumo Station.

こんな絵…… ^^; A scene from a story Inaba no Shirousagi 


Okuninushi no Okami (the god of fortune) helped a hare and won the love of princess Yagami.  


I saw many statues, too. 
 Susanoo no Mikoto fighting Yamatano Orochi

Susanoo no Mikoto (the god of sea and storms) had to fight   Yamatano Orochi (the great serpent with eight heads) to save Kushinada-hime.  He got it drunk and cut its heads.  And of course, he married her.


According to Kojiki (the oldest collection of Japanese myths) Okuninushi no Okami ( the god that helped the hare↑) gave his territory to another god, and in return, this god built a gigantic shrine for him.
And that is what is now called Izumo Taisha.
I didn't take pictures in the adjoining museum, but this is, according to historians, how the shrine looked in ancient times.

たっかいですね~。 a picture from Wikipedia



The thing I like most about Izumo Taisha is that it is the shrine where all the gods throughout the nation gather in October.
October is Ju-gatsu(10月)in Japanese, but it is sometimes called Kannazuki(神無月) meaning "month without gods."
This is because most of them are in Izumo in October.
So, in Izumo, and only in Izumo, October is called Kamiarizuki (神有月= month with gods).

Don't you think this makes Izumo Taisha special?


Do I believe all the myths written in Kojiki?
But I felt some mystical power in Izumo.
Look what I saw on the bus to the shrine. 


The biggest rainbow I've ever seen!
It was as if Izumo Taisha was welcoming us!  \(^o^)/

さて バスを降りて、いざ出雲大社へ。

We got off the bus and started walking to the shrine.

the second torii where we got off the bus
参道も広いです。 approach to the shrine
銅鳥居 copper torii
御仮殿 front shrine


This front shrine is currently serving  as a main shrine, as the main inner shrine is under renovation, for the first time in 60 years.

本殿のさきっちょだけ見えました。 We could see the tip of the inner shrine. 

It will be open in May 2013. 
(Maybe I came here a little too early.) 
神楽殿 Kaguraden 

Kaguraden is famous for its huge shimenawa (sacred straw festoon).
It is 13 meters long, 9 meters around, and weighs 5 tons!



A big Japanese flag was in front of Kaguraden.


It is big!!  The size of  75 tatami (120 ㎡). (@_@)


We went to see Inasa beach, about 1 kilometer west of the shrine.  This is where they welcome gods from all over the country  every October.


I don't know about all the myths there, but I do believe there was a powerful tribal clan in the area in the ancient times.  At the museum, I saw as many as 358 ancient doken (copper sward) found at the nearby ruins in 1984-85.  It was like "wow!!"


I thought of the people in the ancient times.  
And I got this Magatama necklace, made of red agate.

にほんブログ村 英語ブログ 国際交流へ


Rurousha said...

I love this post! THANK YOU!

The shimenawa weighs 5 tons? (@_@) I'm surprised it doesn't pull the entire shrine down with its weight, but I guess the shrine is reinforced so that it can carry that weight?

I've heard about the godless month October. Uh-oh. If all the Shinto gods leave the shitamachi, I hope Kannon at Senso-ji will remain on duty to protect us! ^^

PS: If you look at that rainbow, you have to believe the myths!

Merry Witch said...

Yes, it's good to have both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, isn't it?

Also, it is said that Ebisu-sama stays home and protect us. So, we don't have to worry!(^_^)v

Rurousha said...

Ebisu stays home? Oh! I didn't know that! I think this requires a bit of Googling!

PS: I find myself staring at that photo of Inasa beach and wishing I could go for a swim. This week has been a bit hot in Tokyo, even for this tough cookie from Africa! :)

Merry Witch said...

Yes,it is very hot today, isn't it?

Those gods that stay home are called Rusugami. Try Googling that.

Inasa beach was nice. The sand there is Nakisuna... meaning it makes nice sound when you walk. There are several beaches famous for Nakisuna. This was the first one I stepped onto. But couldn't tell the difference. (・・?

Rurousha said...

Thanks for telling me about Rusugami! May I appoint you as my culture sensei? ^^

The only sound I hear on hot sand is "ow, ow, ouch, itai" as I mutter my way across the beach. :D

Merry Witch said...

You know, I am learning a lot about Japan from you!!

Then, every beach is Nakisuna for you, but in this case, you are 泣いてる rather than the sand is 鳴ってる.