Suwa Grand Shrine also known as Suwa Shrine or Suwa Daimyōjin, is a group of Shinto shrines in Nagano Prefecture, Japan. The shrine complex is considered to be one of the oldest shrines in existence, being implied by the Nihon Shoki to stand in the late 7th century; the entire Suwa shrine complex consists of four main shrines grouped into two sites: the Upper Shrine or Kamisha, comprising the Maemiya and the Honmiya, the Lower Shrine or Shimosha, comprising the Harumiya and the Akimiya. The Upper Shrine is located on the south side of Lake Suwa, in the cities of Chino and Suwa, while the Lower Shrine is on the northern side of the lake, in the town of Shimosuwa. In addition to these four main shrines, some sixty other auxiliary shrines scattered throughout the Lake Suwa area are part of the shrine complex; these are the focus of certain rituals in the shrine's religious calendar. The Upper and the Lower Shrines have been two separate entities, each with its own set of shrines and religious ceremonies.
The existence of two main sites, each one having a system parallel to but different from the other, complicates a study of the Suwa belief system as a whole. One circumstance that simplifies the matter somewhat, however, is that little documentation for the Lower Shrine has been preserved; the god of the Upper Shrine, named Takeminakata in the imperially-commissioned official histories, is often popularly referred to as Suwa myōjin. The goddess of the Lower Shrine, held to be this god's consort, is given the name Yasakatome in these records. Although these are the official identities of the shrine's gods, most of its rituals are not so much concerned with their identities but with their character as Mishaguji, local agricultural and fertility deities; the name'Takeminakata' in fact does not appear in historical records of the Upper Shrine's religious rites. While both the Kojiki and the Sendai Kuji Hongi portray Takeminakata as a son of Ōkuninushi, the god of Izumo Province, driven into exile in Suwa after his shameful defeat in the hands of a messenger sent by the gods of heaven, other myths portray the Suwa deity differently: in one story, for instance, the god is an immigrant who conquered the region by defeating various local deities who resisted him.
In a medieval Buddhist legend, Suwa Myōjin was a king from India whose feats included quelling a rebellion in his kingdom and defeating a dragon in Persia before manifesting in Japan as a native kami. In another medieval folk story, the god was a warrior named Kōga Saburō who returned from a journey into the underworld only to find himself transformed into a serpent or dragon. A fourth myth portrays the Suwa deity as an entity without a physical form who chose an eight-year old boy to become his priest and physical'body'. Like others among Japan's oldest shrines, three of Suwa Shrine's four main sites - the Kamisha Honmiya and the two main shrines of the Shimosha - do not have a honden, the building that enshrines a shrine's kami. Instead, the Upper Shrine's objects of worship were the sacred mountain behind the Kamisha Honmiya, a sacred rock upon which Suwa Myōjin was thought to descend, the shrine's former high priest or Ōhōri, considered to be the physical incarnation of the god himself.
This was joined by Buddhist structures which were revered as symbols of the deity. The Lower Shrine, has sacred trees for its go-shintai: a sugi tree in the Harumiya, a yew tree in the Akimiya; the Suwa region during the late Yayoi period was thought to have been populated by autonomous village communities, which were united under a single priest-chieftain who governed the local religious practices centered around the worship of nature spirits known as the Mishaguji, gods of fertility and agriculture who were considered to be guardians of local communities. These communities were subsumed into the expanding Yamato state around the 6th to 7th centuries. Local historians have seen the myths that speak of Suwa Myōjin's conquest of the area to reflect power struggles and changing alliances in the 7th and 8th centuries, after the establishment of the ritsuryō government; the god of Suwa's mythic victory over the god Moreya, for instance, is considered to reflect the historical usurpation of control over the regional deity by an immigrant clan known as the Kanesashi, which as district magistrates were in charge of producing and collecting taxed goods and laborers to be sent to the central government in Yamato Province.
The Kanesashi's seat of power seems to have been located north of Lake Suwa, near what is now the Lower Shrine, although there was not yet a shrine there at the time. This location was closer to the important crossroads. According to a genealogical list of the Aso clan of Aso Shrine in Kyushu, the Aso-ke Ryaku Keizu, a man named Otoei or Kumako, son of the Kanesashi clan leader and kuni no miyatsuko Mase-gimi - ide
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
A Shinto shrine is a structure whose main purpose is to house one or more kami. Its most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects, not for worship. Although only one word is used in English, in Japanese Shinto shrines may carry any one of many different, non-equivalent names like gongen, -gū, jingū, mori, myōjin, -sha, ubusuna or yashiro. Structurally, a Shinto shrine is characterized by the presence of a honden or sanctuary, where the kami is enshrined; the honden may however be absent, as for example when the shrine stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated, and, worshiped directly. The honden may be missing when there are nearby altar-like structures called himorogi or objects believed capable of attracting spirits called yorishiro that can serve as a direct bond to a kami. There may be a haiden and other structures as well. However, a shrine's most important building is used for the safekeeping of sacred objects rather than for worship. Miniature shrines can be found on roadsides.
Large shrines sometimes have on their precincts miniature shrines. The portable shrines which are carried on poles during festivals enshrine kami and are therefore true shrines. In 927 CE, the Engi-shiki was promulgated; this work listed all of the 2,861 Shinto shrines existing at the time, the 3,131 official-recognized and enshrined Kami. That number has grown and exceeded this figure through the following generations. In Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan placed the number of shrines at 79,467 affiliated with the Association of Shinto Shrines; some shrines, such as the Yasukuni Shrine are independent of any outside authority. The number of Shinto shrines in Japan is estimated to be around 100,000; this figure may, or may not, include private shrines in homes and owned by small groups, abandoned or derelict shrines, roadside Hokora. etc. Ancestors are kami to be worshiped. Yayoi-period village councils sought the advice of ancestors and other kami, developed instruments to evoke them. Yoshishiro means "approach substitute" and were conceived to attract the kami to allow them physical space, thus making kami accessible to human beings.
Village-council sessions were held in quiet spots in the mountains or in forests near great trees or other natural objects that served as yorishiro. These sacred places and their yorishiro evolved into today's shrines, whose origins can be still seen in the Japanese words for "mountain" and "forest", which can mean "shrine". Many shrines have on their grounds one of the original great yorishiro: a big tree, surrounded by a sacred rope called shimenawa; the first buildings at places dedicated to worship were huts built to house some yorishiro. A trace of this origin can be found in the term hokura, "deity storehouse", which evolved into hokora, is considered to be one of the first words for shrine. True shrines arose with the beginning of agriculture, when the need arose to attract kami to ensure good harvests; these were, just temporary structures built for a particular purpose, a tradition of which traces can be found in some rituals. Hints of the first shrines can still be found there. Ōmiwa Shrine in Nara, for example, contains no sacred images or objects because it is believed to serve the mountain on which it stands.
Those images or objects are therefore unnecessary. For the same reason, it has a worship hall but no place to house the kami. Archeology confirms that, during the Yayoi period, the most common shintai in the earliest shrines were nearby mountain peaks that supplied stream water to the plains where people lived. Besides the mentioned Ōmiwa Shrine, another important example is Mount Nantai, a phallus-shaped mountain in Nikko which constitutes Futarasan Shrine's shintai; the name Nantai means "man's body". The mountain not only provides water to the rice paddies below but has the shape of the phallic stone rods found in pre-agricultural Jōmon sites. In 905 CE, Emperor Daigo ordered a compilation of Shinto rules. Previous attempts at codification are known to have taken place, neither the Konin nor the Jogan Gishiki survive. Under the direction of Fujiwara no Tokihira, the project stalled at his death in April 909. Fujiwara no Tadahira, his brother, took charge and in 912 CE and in 927 CE the Engi-shiki was promulgated in fifty volumes.
This, the first formal codification of Shinto rites and Norito to survive, became the basis for all subsequent Shinto liturgical practice and efforts. In addition to the first ten volumes of this fifty volume work, sections in subsequent volumes addressing the Ministry of Ceremonies and the Ministry of the Imperial Household regulated Shinto worship and contained liturgical rites and regulation. Felicia Gressitt Brock published a two-volume annotated English language translation of the first ten volumes with an introduction entitled Engi-shiki; the arrival of Buddhism changed the situation, introducing to Japan the concept of the permanent shrine. A great number of Buddhist temples were built next to existing shrines in mixed complexes called jingū-ji (神宮寺, lit. shri
The honden called shinden or sometimes shōden, as in Ise Shrine's case, is the most sacred building at a Shinto shrine, intended purely for the use of the enshrined kami symbolized by a mirror or sometimes by a statue. The building is in the rear of the shrine and closed to the general public. In front of it stands the haiden, or oratory; the haiden is connected to the honden by a heiden, or hall of offerings. Physically, the honden is the heart of the shrine complex, connected to the rest of the shrine but raised above it, protected from public access by a fence called tamagaki, it is small and with a gabled roof. Its doors are kept closed, except at religious festivals. Shinto priests; the rite of opening those doors is itself an important part of the shrine's life. Inside the honden is kept the go-shintai "the sacred body of the kami"; the go-shintai is not divine, but just a temporary repository of the enshrined kami. Important as it is, the honden may sometimes be absent, as for example when the shrine stands on a sacred mountain to which it is dedicated, or when there are nearby himorogi or other yorishiro that serve as a more direct bond to a kami.
Ōmiwa Shrine in Nara, for example, contains no sacred images or objects because it is believed to serve the mountain on which it stands. For the same reason, it has no honden. Another important shrine without a honden is head of the Suwa shrine network; the honden's structure determines the shrine's architectural style. Many exist, but three are of particular importance because they are the only ones believed to predate the arrival of Buddhism, have therefore a special architectural and historical significance, they are exemplified by the honden at Izumo Taisha, Nishina Shinmei Shrine and Sumiyoshi Taisha. German architect Bruno Taut compared the importance of Ise Shrine's honden to that of Greece's Parthenon. For details, see the article Shinto architecture. Main Hall of a temple for the similar concept in Japanese Buddhism Glossary of Shinto for an explanation of terms concerning Shinto, Shinto art, Shinto shrine architecture Holy of Holies in Judeo-Christian traditions Tamura, Yoshiro. "The Birth of the Japanese nation in".
Japanese Buddhism - A Cultural History. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company. P. 232 pages. ISBN 4-333-01684-3. "Honden". JAANUS. Retrieved 2008-12-19. Mori, Mizue. "Honden". Encyclopedia of Shinto. Kokugakuin University. Retrieved 2008-12-19. Smyers, Karen Ann; the Fox and the Jewel: Shared and Private Meanings in Contemporary Japanese Inari Worship. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2102-5. OCLC 231775156
Emperor Ōjin known as Hondawake no Mikoto or Homuta no Sumeramikoto was the 15th Emperor of Japan, according to the traditional order of succession. No firm dates can be assigned to this Emperor's life or reign, but he is conventionally considered to have reigned from 270 to 310. Ōjin is regarded by historians as a "legendary Emperor" of the 5th century. The reign of Emperor Kinmei, the 29th Emperor, is the first for which contemporary historiography is able to assign verifiable dates; the name Ōjin Tennō was assigned to him posthumously by generations. Ōjin is identified by some as the earliest "historical" Emperor. According to the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, Ōjin was the son of the Emperor Chūai and his consort Empress Jingū; as Chūai died before Ōjin's birth, his mother Empress Jingū became the de facto ruler. The history book written to the 8th century, alleged that the boy Ōjin was conceived but unborn when Chūai died, his widow, Empress Jingū spent three years in conquest of a promised land, conjectured to be Korea, but the story is dismissed by scholars for lack of evidence.
After her return to Japanese islands, the boy was born, three years after the death of the father. Either a period of less than nine months contained three "years", e.g. three harvests, or the paternity is just mythical and symbolic, rather than real. Ōjin was born in Tsukushi Province upon the return of his mother from the invasion of the promised land, was named Prince Hondawake. He became the crown prince at the age of four, he was crowned at the age of 70 and reigned for 40 years until his death in 310, although none of the TC dates around his reign have any historical basis. He lived in two palaces, both of which are in present-day Osaka. Ōjin was traditionally identified as the father of Emperor Nintoku. Ōjin has been deified as Hachiman Daimyōjin, regarded as the guardian of warriors. The Hata clan considered him their guardian Kami; the actual site of Ōjin's grave is not known. The Emperor is traditionally venerated at a memorial Shinto shrine at Osaka; the Imperial Household Agency designates this location as Ōjin's mausoleum.
It is formally named Eega no Mofushi no oka no misasagi. Empress: Nakatsu-hime, Prince Homudamawaka's daughter Princess Arata Fourth Son: Prince Ōosazaki Emperor Nintoku Prince Netori, ancestor of Ōta no Kimi Consort: Takakiiri-hime, Prince Homudamawaka's daughter Prince Nukata no Ōnakatsuhiko Prince Ōyamamori, ancestor of Hijikata no Kimi and Haibara no Kimi Prince Izanomawaka, ancestor of Fukakawawake Princess Ōhara Princess Komukuta Consort: Oto-hime, Prince Homudamawaka's daughter Princess Ahe Princess Awaji no Mihara, married to Prince Netori Princess Ki no Uno Princess Shigehara Princess Mino no Iratsume Consort: Miyanushiyaka-hime, Wani no Hifure no Omi's daughter Prince Uji no Wakiiratsuko, Crown Prince Princess Yata, married to Emperor Nintoku Princess Metori, married to Prince HayabusawakeConsort: Onabe-hime, Wani no Hifure no Omi's daughter Princess Uji no Wakiiratsu-hime, married to Emperor NintokuConsort: Okinaga Mawakanakatsu-hime, Kawamata Nakatsuhiko's daughter Prince Wakanuke no Futamata, ancestor of Okinaga clan, great-grandfather of Emperor KeitaiConsort: Ito-hime, Sakuraitabe no Muraji Shimatarine's daughter Prince Hayabusawake, husband of Princess Metori Consort: Himuka no Izumi no Naga-hime Prince Ōhae Prince Ohae Princess Hatabi no Wakairatsume, married to Emperor RichūConsort: Kaguro-hime, Prince Sumeiroōnakatsuhiko's daughter Princess Kawarata no Iratsume Princess Tama no Iratsume Prince Kataji 2 Princesses speculated as Prince Wakanuke no Futamatas daughtersConsort: Katsuragi no Irome, Takenouchi no Sukune's daughter Prince Izanomawaka?
Consort: E-hime, Kibi-no-Takehiko's daughter Emperor of Japan Hachiman List of Emperors of Japan Imperial cult Aston, William George.. Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A. D. 697. London: Kegan Paul, Trubner. OCLC 448337491 Brown, Delmer M. and Ichirō Ishida, eds.. Gukanshō: The Future and the Past. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-03460-0; the Kojiki. Read before the Asiatic Society of Japan on April 12, May 10, June 21, 1882. OCLC 1882339 Ponsonby-Fane, Richard Arthur Brabazon.. The Imperial House of Japan. Kyoto: Ponsonby Memorial Society. OCLC 194887 Titsingh, Isaac.. Nihon Ōdai Ichiran. Paris: Royal Asiatic Society, Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland. OCLC 5850691 Varley, H. Paul.. Jinnō Shōtōki: A Chronicle of Gods and Sovereigns. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0-231-04940-5. Japanese loyalism reconstrued: Yamagata Daini's Ryūshi shinron of 1759. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824816674.
Sakurai is a city located in Nara Prefecture, Japan. As of March 31, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 58,386, 24,629 households; the population density is 590 persons per km², the total area is 98.92 km². Sakurai was the capital of Japan during the reign of Emperor Yūryaku; the life of the Imperial court was centered at Hatsuse no Asakura Palace where the emperor lived in 457–479. Other emperors built palaces in the area, including Iware no Mikakuri Palace, 480–484 in reign of Emperor Seinei Nimiki Palace, 499–506 in reign of Emperor Buretsu Iware no Tamaho Palace, 526–532 in reign of Emperor Keitai Hinokuma no Iorino Palace, 535-539 in reign of Emperor Senka Osata no Sakitama Palace or Osada no Miya, 572–585 in reign of Emperor BidatsuThe modern city was founded on September 1, 1956. Sakurai is home to Ōmiwa Shrine, traditionally considered one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan dedicated to the god of sake. Sake dealers across Japan hang a wooden sugi ball, made at Ōmiwa Shrine, as a talisman to the god of sake.
It was featured in Yukio Mishima's novel Runaway Horses. Buddhist temples Miwasanbyōdō-ji Hase-dera Asuka-dera Tachibana-dera Abe Monju-in Seirin-ji Shinto shrines Ōmiwa Shrine Tanzan Shrine Kasayamakō Shrine Tamatsura Shrine West Japan Railway Company Sakurai Line: Makimuku Station - Miwa Station - Sakurai Station Kintetsu Railway Osaka Line: Daifuku Station - Sakurai Station - Yamato-Asakura Station - Hasedera Station Japan National Route 165 Japan National Route 166 Japan National Route 169 Kumano, Mie Taisha, Shimane Chartres, France. Media related to Sakurai, Nara at Wikimedia Commons Sakurai City official website at the Library of Congress Web Archives Sakurai City official website
Shimenawa are lengths of laid rice straw or hemp rope used for ritual purification in the Shinto religion. They can vary in diameter from a few centimetres to several metres, are seen festooned with shide. A space bound by shimenawa indicates a sacred or pure space, such as that of a Shinto shrine. Shimenawa are believed to act as a ward against evil spirits and are set up at a ground-breaking ceremony before construction begins on a new building, they are found at Shinto shrines, torii gates, sacred landmarks. They are used around yorishiro; these notably include certain trees, in which case the inhabiting spirits are called kodama, cutting down these trees is thought to bring misfortune. In cases of stones, the stones are known as iwakura. A variation of the shimenawa is used in sumo wrestling by yokozuna during their entrance ceremonies to denote their rank; this is because the yokozuna is seen as a living yorishiro, as such is inhabited by a spirit. Media related to Shimenawa at Wikimedia Commons Kamidana Kanjo Nawa - a custom utilizing Shimenawa Saekki Kasulis, Thomas P..
Shinto: The Way Home. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0-8248-2794-5. Encyclopedia of Shinto