Due south: Konpira Shrine in Kagawa – Part 3 –
Konpira in Kagawa (3)
Konpira Shrine (3)
[Shoin (Library building)]
To reach here, you must walk up nearly 500 steps in total.
The original meaning of “shoin” was a room used as a sitting room as well as a library of the master, but since around 1600, it has referred to a whole building.
This Konpira shoin consists of 3 parts – “Omote-shoin” (front shoin), “Oku-shoin” (back shoin) and “Shiro-shoin” (white shoin).
(“Shiro-shoin” is the shoin built with non-lacquered plain wood of Japanese cypress.)
Most of the rooms are separated by “fusuma”, a Japanese sliding door made with wood frame and paper (or cloth), and each fusuma was painted by famous Japanese artists like Oukyo Maruyama.
It’s like Western wall paints, but this fusuma paints can be slid, so you can enjoy different views with more space and depth. (Example photo from Konpira omote-shoin)
Only “omote-shoin” is open to public usually, but when I was there, all three were open, so I could see ”fusuma-e” (fusuma picture) painted by Jyakuchuu Itou at oku-shoin. (Konpira oku-shoin)
Three times a year (May 5th, July 7th and the end of December), six people play “kemari”, kicking ball, in the front garden.
(It will be cancelled when it rains on the day)
They all wear traditional “kemari” uniform.
“Kemari” is totally different from modern football.
Players can use only their right foot.
They make a circle, kicking the ball as long as possible without dropping it on the ground.
This is not a game to decide a winner, players must cooperate each other not to end the game, need harmony among them.
[Honguu (Main shrine)]
785 steps in total to get here.
I strongly recommend to bring something to drink even in winter, especially if you are too lazy to exercise regularly like I am.
Originally, “Oomono-nushi” (lit. the master of great awesome spirit) was the only God to be worshipped.
But then in 1165, the deceased Emperor Sutoku was also enshrined.
The shrine was reconstructed several times, the oldest was in 1001, and so far, 1878 was the last.
– How to pray at Konpira –
- Make a bow once.
- Make a deeper bow twice.
- Clap your hands twice.
- Make a deep bow twice.
- Make a bow once.
If you are not sure, just look around and copy what other people do.
I guess there are many Japanese who don’t know the “correct” way unless it’s noted somewhere though.
I personally feel it is good to show your respect by following proper protocol but the most important thing is the mind to respect for gods.
Also, Japanese gods don’t reject you if you have another religious belief.
They are not so petty-minded.
[Kagura-den (Kagura house)]
Near the main shrine.
“Kagura” means dance with music for god(s), but this “kagura-den” is a very small building, and in the official website, it is only mentioned as the place to play traditional Japanese music, so maybe dances are not performed here.
*** Other things to see around the main shrine ***
The following spots are what to see around the main shrine.
You don’t have to walk up any steps!
However, if you want to go to “Okusha” (details in the next post), it would be better to head there first.
You’ve got to come these places on the way back anyway.
*If you walk up from Asahi-sha (details in the next post), then you will see these before the main shrine.
[Mihotsu-hime no yashiro (Princess Mihotsu shrine)]
Princess Mihotsu is a daughter of a god “Takamimusubi” and the wife of Konpira’s main god “Oomono-nushi”.
This shrine is connected to the main shrine by a long corridor.
[Ema-den (Ema house)]
I wrote a little bit about “ema” in my Fukiya village post.
“Ema” is a wooden plaques with people’s wishes and/or appreciation to God.
You can see a lot of “ema” inside and outside of the house, although some of them are too old to distinguish what are written / painted.
The word “ema” consists of two Kanji characters – picture and horse.
At first, people dedicated living horses to god(s), then they started to offer a wooden plaque with a picture of a horse instead.
Later, they painted not only horses but also samurais, beautiful women, etc.
Konpira is famous for protections of sailings, so in this ema-den, there are many “ema” with ship picture.
Latest posts by kara (see all)
- Basic Japanese : “Sumimasen” – “Thank you” in Japanese - June 24, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Arigatou” – “Thank you” in Japanese - May 29, 2015
- Basic Japanese : “Go-chisou sama” – Phrase after meal - May 27, 2015
As kids, we all played games and while living in Japan I wondered what sort of games do kids here play. Were the games they played similar to the games I used to play growing up back home? Do they also roll over the dirt, enjoy playing catch or maybe play hide and seek? Or […]
“TripAdvisor”, a travel web site, has released their ranking of the “Top 30 most popular tourist destinations in Japan among foreigners in 2014″. It’s based on reviews written in languages other than Japanese between April 2013 and March 2014.(In Japan, business and school terms usually start from April.) Where do you think is the most […]
Kendo has a very long and rich history of development in Japan. Some of the legendary sword masters of ancient Japan left writings to explain their philosophy and methods. Even though they are not really practitioners of the modern kendo, nevertheless, their philosophies and methods became a part of it. The following two tabs change […]
Katana : Japanese sword (2) Japanese swords are famous as samurai’s weapons, but was it impossible for common people like farmers to own them? Japanese swords for civilians If you have seen an old film “Shichinin no samurai” (Seven samurai) by Akira Kurosawa, you might think that Japanese farmers in the old times haven’t […]
When I was a child, “ninja” was not known worldwide like today. Of course it was very popular in Japan, but famous ninja anime / manga (“Sasuke” and “Kamui” by Sanpei Shirato were probably the best-known at that time) were for rather adults than kids to compare with the present “Nintama Rantarou” or “Naruto”, although […]
Summer in Japan is finally here! Finally, the season for Matsuri(festivals). Japan as busy as a country it may seem has a year-long list of festivals it celebrate all over the country. For most tourists, this is the best time to experience first-hand Japanese traditions and culture. In most of these festivals, you will find […]
Like any other culture, the Japanese have also traditional toys which children used to play and is now slowly being forgotten due to the rise of modern and high-tech toys and gadgets. One of these toys is the kendama. The Kendama Kendama (けん玉, can also be written as 剣玉 or 拳玉) is a Japanese traditional […]
Karuta (かるた) is a Japanese card game. It is from the Portuguese word “carta” which means card. The basic idea of any karuta game is to be able to quickly determine which card out of an array of cards is required and then to grab the card before it is grabbed by an opponent. There […]
Japan conquers the sky with the opening of Tokyo Skytree and Abeno Harukas. Standing at 634 meters and 300 meters respectively these two structures are the top two highest structures in Japan. Abeno Harukas I first visited the Abeno Harukas located in the city of Osaka. Its construction started in early 2010 and was finished […]
Kamishibai (紙芝居, literal meaning: “paper drama”) is a form of storytelling that originated in Japanese Buddhist temples in the 12th century, where monks used emakimono (picture scrolls) to convey stories with moral lessons to a mostly illiterate audience. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing […]