Due south: Konpira Shrine in Kagawa – Part 4 –
Konpira in Kagawa (4)
Konpira Shrine (4)
[“Okusha” or “Oku no Yashiro” (Back shrine)]
583 steps to go from the main shrine to here. (1368 steps in total)
“Okusha” is also known as “Izutama Jinjya”, Izutama shrine.
This shrine was placed near “Ema-den” at first with a different name, but moved to the present location with a new name in 1905.
It was built to worship the guru of “Kotohira honkyou” (Kotohira religion) as “Izutamahiko no mikoto”, who was the fourth master of the shrine (Konpira was also a temple at that time).
The master traveled around Japan to tell people how they should live as humans, to save sick and / or suffering people, as well as devoting himself to rebuild and redevelop the forsaken shrine because of provincial wars, until he died on a stormy day in 1613.
Before he died, he hoped that peace would come to the whole country with the help from the God of Konpira.
He also swore that he would become a god to take good care of people, and would come back to this world as the third generation to make Konpira solid and strong.
Predictably, during the third generation after his death, Konpira had developed more and more.
“Kotohira honkyou” is a new religion, authorized as a religious institution by the government on August 5th in 1969.
[Asahi-sha (Asahi shrine)]
“Asahi” is one Kanji character which means “rising sun”.
If you come here before the main shrine, it means you walked up 628 steps in total.
Many gods are enshrined here including gods who are described as the first three gods in Japan in “Kojiki”, the oldest extant chronicle in the early 8th century:
“Ame no minakanushi” – the very first god in Japan .
“Takamimusubi” – the second / third god, whose daughter is Princess Mohotsu (see this post).
“Kamimusubi” – the second / third god.
It’s a big shrine about 18 meter (60 feet) high, so many people have mistaken this as the main shrine.
It is said “Mori no Ishimatsu” (see this post), who visited Konpira instead of his boss, believed this was the main shrine and dedicated a “katana” (Japanese sword) here.
You can see the katana in the treasury.
The present shrine was completed in 1837.
Amulet is “omamori” in Japanese.
You can buy Konpira amulet at the office near the main shrine.
– Omamori –
In Japan, omamori usually means a hexagon amulet laced up and covered with cloth.
There are several kinds of omamori to wish for;
- Good health
- Economic fortune
- Love, successful pregnancy, easy delivery
- Academic achievement, passing exams
- Safety – family, to avoid traffic accidents, safe travels
- Avoid bad luck
- General good luck
- Other specific good luck like a good harvest
To know what omamori is for, you have got to read the letters stitched on it.
On the Konpira one I have, the name of the shrine “Kotohira-guu” is stitched, so this is not for specific wish but for general luck.
I assume that common ones are for academic achievement (passing exams), easy delivery and general good luck.
You can buy omamori both at shrines and temples.
Its protection supposed to last for a year, so many people buy omamori at New Year’s and then on the following year, give it back to a shrine / temple to be burnt and buy new one.
A new, clean omamori is supposed to have more power of god (or Buddha) than an old and dirty one.
The more it gets dirty or is exposed to bad energies of this world for a long time, the more god’s power gets weakened.
If you buy omamori for a fixed-term wish like “goukaku kigan” (wish for passing exams), give it back when you know the result.
It does not matter whether your wish is fulfilled or not, and if a year has passed since you bought it.
To give back omamori, it is best to bring it to the place where you bought it.
But if it’s difficult, you can bring it to another shrine if you bought it at a shrine.
If you bought it at a temple, then you should find another temple of the same religion.
Or you can send it to the shrine / temple by post.
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 I wrote in my previous post, I love konbini (convenience store) in Japan. I often use it, especially after work. And, I usually drink canned coffee when taking breaks. This time, I’ll be introducing about coffee of konbini that every Japanese businessman cannot live without. About product labels If you take a […]
In our previous post about the Japanese traditional card game karuta, we listed some of popular karuta variations. In this post, we will post more of these karuta variations and karuta in popular culture. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – […]
Today is the last day of the Golden Week this year in Japan. For this year, this day has no particular celebration or holiday. Today is just a Compensation/Substitute Holiday (振替休日 Furikae Kyūjitsu) that is observed when any of the Golden Week holidays fall on Sunday. Past Observances of Furikae Kyūjitsu Furikae Kyūjitsu of the […]
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 is one of the countries located along the “Pacific Ring of Fire”. Countries along the “Pacific Ring of Fire” have high seismic and volcanic activity. This explains why earthquakes are common in the “Land of the Rising Sun”. There are many volcanoes in Japan. In fact, approximately ten percent of the world’s active volcanoes […]
As the concept of kendo states that kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principle of the katana, there are kendo rules and regulations followed in a match (or in Japanese 試合, shiai). Kendo Match Rules A kendo match is herein defined as a contest between two contestants for a […]
Mikan is one of the typical fruits in Japanese winter. When my siblings and I were ever-hungry children, my mother always bought a box with 15 kg (approx. 530 oz, 33 lb) of mikan in winter. We could easily eat up 15 mikan each at one sitting. I suppose the Engel’s coefficient of my family […]
What is “Shousou-in”? “Shousou” was a term for a repository owned and controlled by government offices or major temples during the Nara (710 – 784) and Heian periods (794 – 1185). “Shousou-in” meant the area where a group of “shousou” were built. Now, only one storehouse of “shousou-in” is existent, located at the temple Toudai-ji, […]
Muramasa (1) Masamune and Muramasa “Masamune” and “Muramasa” are probably the two well-known Japanese sword brands to common Japanese people. You may have seen those names in Japanese manga, video games, novels, etc. For example, “Masamune” is used by Sephiroth in a Playstation game, Final Fantasy 7. Also, there is a game entitled as “Oboro-muramasa” […]
Zentsuu-ji : General Info Zentsuu-ji is a name of the temple which was built by the well-known monk Kuukai a.k.a. “Koubou-daishi” (The Grand Master Koubou) *. (The French fashion label “Kookai” is named after the priest.) Then, the location where the temple is also began to be called as “Zentsuu-ji”. *About the title “Daishi” It […]