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Today's blog post takes us to Itsukushima, an island a short distance west of Hiroshima (also known as Miyajima), famous for its torii gate standing in the water before the island's shrine:

[10.1.miyajima great torii gate3]

At 16m height, it's one of the largest wooden torii gates in Japan.

[10.1.miyajima great torii gate]

The five-storey pagoda.

[10.2.five storey pagoda.me]

There's also a stone torii gate for pilgrims approaching the shrine via the landward route.

[10.2.us at miyajima]

There were deer on this island; possibly smelling the last of the rabbit pellets, they mobbed [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m and wouldn't leave her alone.

[10.3.deer and andrea]

Itsukushima shrine stands on the beach; at high tide the wooden boardwalk protrudes out over the sea. The shrine goes back to the twelfth century.

[10.4.miyajima shrine]

[10.4.us in front of gt torii]

A sixteenth-century stage for nōh plays and ceremonial dances called bugaku; note the painted backdrop:

[10.5.C16 noh stage]

There are in total eleven kami enshrined here, including two deified humans, including Toyotomi Hideyoshi (one of the three daimyō (feudal lords) who put an end of Japan's long civil war, in the sixteenth century. Also Ōkuninushi-no-mikoto, the deity of matchmaking—not inappropriate for a visit on [livejournal.com profile] aviva_m and my honeymoon.

[10.6]

We also went into Momijidani Park:

[10.7.bridge in momijidani park]

[10.7.butterfly]

...from which we took a cable car up Mt Misen. At the top, I went in search of holy sites at various locations on the mountain. Here is something my Jewish readers will instantly be able to identify with: a eternal flame, which is never allowed to burn out (though our version consists of just a small flame (or more commonly nowadays an electric light), not a complete fireplace with a cauldron of incense suspended above):

[10.8.eternal flame]

It's even called "The eternal flame" (Kiezu-no-hi), same as our נֵר תָּמִיד. It was used by Kobo Daishi, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, as part of his religious training twelve hundred years ago, and has been burning ever since. The flame was used to light the Flame of Peace in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park (see my next post).

Another building had incredibly intricate decorations:

[10.9.1.decorated panel]

...and inner sanctum:

[10.9.inner sanctum]

[10.9.2]

[Japan blog posts] [personal profile] lethargic_man's Japan blog posts
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Lethargic Man (anag.)

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