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
In my first post I shared with you my experience when I visited Go’o Shrine and Kadoya. Now I will tell you about the other 4 houses – Gokaisho, Haisha, Ishibashi and Minamidera. Gokaisho designed by Yoshihiro Suda. Gokaisho litterally means a place to meet and play go – a traditional Japanese board game. But don’t expect […]
In our previous post about kendo, we learned about its history. In this post, we will learn about the kendo equipment. As the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) restored kendo and fight against the ban after the declaration of Japan’s independence, they then published “The Concept and Purpose of Kendo”. The Purpose of Kendo Its […]
“Love planted a rose, and the world turned sweet”. — Katharine Lee Bates Who doesn’t love roses? Especially among the ladies, roses have a very sweet spot in our hearts. Even just a single stem of a red rose could evoke a whole lot of emotions. Fukuyama City, Hiroshima – Japan’s City of Roses For rose […]
The National Foundation Day (建国記念の日, Kenkoku Kinen no Hi) is a public holiday in Japan and is celebrated every year on 11th February. The day is celebrated to commemorate the formation of the nation and also for the establishment of the imperial line by the first Japanese ruler, Jimmu. Holiday History The day originally coincided […]
This was my second time in Himeji. The first was 4 years earlier in spring to see Himeji Castle. This time around, we went to Taiyo Park. Not many know about this place since its in a remote area with no bus/train stops nearby. We went there by car so no biggie. The Park Entrance […]
Imagine yourself standing underneath a canopy of Cherry Blossom trees (Sakura) in full bloom, its delicate petals slowly dancing in the gentle spring breeze blowing. Its sounds like a scene from a movie right? But for the Japanese people these is no movie, it happens every spring. The annual Hanami – the Japanese tradition of […]
Kendama, as what we learned from our previous post is a traditional Japanese “ball-and-cup” game. The basic tricks that one can perform with the kendama is to catch the ball using any of the three different-sized cups or with the spike. One time, in our Japanese class, our sensei brought a kendama and let us […]
There are several famous things with the name of Hakata: Hakata Dontaku (a big festival), Hakata ningyou (“ningyou” means “doll”), Hakata ramen (ramen noodle with pork bone broth) and Hakata mentai (“mentai” is a short version of “mentai-ko”, “seasoned cod roe”). “Mentai-ko” is often used for pizza or pasta throughout Japan. They have got local […]
Early autumn of 2012, my friends and I went to Kuroisan Green Park in Setouchi-shi, Okayama for mikan harvesting. Mikan, according to its Wikipedia entry, is a sweet, seedless, and easy-peeling citrus species about the size of mandarin oranges but smaller than an orange. For a fee of 700 yen, we were led to the orchard […]
Momotarou “Momotarou” is one of the very well-known folk tales in Japan, and it’s a quite popular character in Okayama where I live, so I felt this would be a good theme to start. Like many children’s stories, Momotarou is about “The good defeats the evil forces”. Outline Once upon a time, there was an […]