Shimane Prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Shimane Prefecture - 島根県

located in the Chūgoku region on Honshū island.
The capital is Matsue. It is the second least populous prefecture in Japan, after its eastern neighbor Tottori. The prefecture has an area elongated from east to west facing the Chūgoku Mountain Range on the south side and to the Sea of Japan on the north side. It is divided into the Izumo Region in the East, the Iwami Region in the West and the Oki Region, a small group of islands off the northern coast. Most of the cities are near the shoreline of the Sea of Japan.
Izumo Taisha in Izumo City is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Japan.

The Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan are also part of Shimane Prefecture, which also claims to have jurisdiction over the South Korea-controlled island of Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Shimane - Entries of this BLOG .


. Izumo taisha 出雲大社 Izumo Grand Shrine .


Kumano Taisha 熊野大社 Kumano Shrine
Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya Kumano Taisha

Since ancient times, Kumano Taisha Shrine has been known as Izumo-no-kuni Ichi-no-miya, which translates as the highest-ranking shrine in the Izumo region. It is located in a mountainous area approximately 15km south of central Matsue, from where it can be reached in 30 minutes by car. The vermillion Yakumo-bashi Bridge stretches over the clear waters of Iu River in front of the shrine, and there is a water basin where you can purify your body and mind before ascending the stone steps. The main hall in front of you in the middle of the grounds enshrines 'Kaburogi-kumano-no-okami-kushimikenu-no-mikoto', which is the honorific name for the God Susano-o-no-mikoto.

source : www.google.co.jp

On the right side is Inada Shrine which is dedicated to Princess Inada-hime, whom Susano-o-no-mikoto saved from the 8-headed dragon Yamato-no-orochi and married according to Japanese mythology. On the left is Izanami Shrine dedicated to the Goddess Izanami, who was the mother of Susano and Goddess of creation. Kou Shrine and Inari Shrine also stand in the grounds along with other structures, such as Zuijin-mon Gate, Sanka-den Hall, the spiritual dance hall Mai-den and a resting place 'Kansui-tei'. The Sanka-den Hall is a unique structure with a thatched roof. All four walls are covered in cypress bark and it is surrounded on all sides by a veranda made from bamboo. Inside are two old-fashioned fire-kindling tools called hikiriusu and hikirikine. It is an important building used in the annual Sanka-sai Fire Festival and the inauguration ceremony of the Chief Priest of Izumo Taisha. Up to the modern day, the God of Kumano Taisha Shrine has been bringing the creative and harmonizing forces of prosperity and happiness into peoples' lives.

Kumano Taisha Shrine dates back to ancient times and was first recorded in the Nihon Shoki (720 AD) in the Empress Saimei chronicle (659 AD). In the ancient chronicles Izumo no kuni fudoki (733 AD) it is written that the shrine was located on Mt. Kumano (present day Mt. Tengu). The shrine appears as Kumano Nimasu Shrine in the Engishiki Jinmyo-cho Notebook (927 AD) and was also called Hinomoto-hidezome Shrine. Since ancient times, along with Izumo Taisha Shrine it has been revered as a grand shrine of the Land of Izumo. It was also deeply revered by the ancient imperial court, and rose from 3rd rank in 851 AD to 2nd rank in 867 AD.

In the middle ages the shrine was transferred from Mt. Kumano to the foot of the mountain. The shrine was divided into the upper shrine and lower shrine, and until the end of the Edo period the upper shrine was known as Kumano Sansha Gongen and the lower shrine was called Isemiya. It was worshipped at by ordinary people as a shrine for industrial promotion, good fortune and warding off evil. It was designated as a middle ranked shrine in 1871, and then as a top rank Grand National Shrine in 1916. However, its title was reduced from Taisha, meaning grand shrine, to Jinja (a normal shrine) in the shrine system reform of the Meiji Period. It was finally reinstated as a Taisha in 1978. In the sengu shrine rebuilding ceremony of the same year the buildings within the shrine grounds were reformed, and the Sukei-kai, an organization of local parishoners and believers across the country, was formed. Kumano Taisha Shrine has a deep connection with Izumo Taisha Shrine and Izumo Taisha's festival begins with receiving the holy fire (the spirit of Kumano Taisha's God) and the fire-kindling tools of Kumano Taisha. These implements are also used in the inauguration ceremony at Izumo Taisha and are presented every year at Kumano Taisha's Sankasai Fire Festival.

saki mitama kushi mitama mamori tamai sakihai tamae.

- - - - - Main Rituals and Festivals
Hatsumode First Prayers of the New Year Jan 1st - 3rd
Setsubun Spring Festival, Feb 3rd, from 11:00 am
1st Day of Spring Risshun-risshi Festival, End of March
Migushi-sai Comb Offering Festival April 13th, from 10:00 am
Chojyu-sai Longevity Ritual, April 29th, from 11:00 am
Motomiya-sai (Climb to the original shrine), 4th Sunday in May
Summer Purification Oharae/Nagoshi Ritual, June 30th, from 4:00pm
Reitai-sai Grand Festival, October 14th, from 10:00 am
Sankasai Fire Festival, October 15th, from 10:00 am
- source : www.kumanotaisha.or.jp

Kumano Taisha was the most important shrine in Izumo for centuries before Izumo Taisha supplanted it in the late Heian Period. Empress Saimei ordered the shrine built in the mid 7th Century. Before that the shrine was the mountain behind it.

Look at more photos by Jake Ojisan !
- source : ojisanjake.blogspot.jp


Matsue "Dan Dan" Food Festival
6th January~18th March
Winter foods such as Matsuba Crabs which represent seafood of the Japan Sea, the seven delicacies of Lake Shinji, which are abound in Lake Shinji, and Shimane beef, which is highly valued nationwide, are all considered culinary treasures in Matsue.

The Matsue City Warrior Parade (Musha Gyouretsu)
Date & Time: 7th April
With the leading characters of Yoshiharu Horio, the man who laid the foundations of the city, his son Tadaushi and his grandson Tadaharu, 300 citizens of Matsue will bring to life an array of characters from the early 16th century. All participants will don period costumes and march through the city; the princesses, ladies and ladies-in-waiting looking beautiful, the armoured warriors looking heroic, and the court nobles carrying an air of refinement.

Suigo-sai Festival - 5th and 6th August
the summer festival which best represents the "water city", Matsue.

Matsue `Suitouro` Suitoro
(The illumination of Matsue Castle`s surrounding waterways and environs)
16th September- 15th October
Matsue Suitouro is a festival of water and light, that offers you the opportunity to enjoy the magical view of lantern-lit waterways around Matsue Castle and adjacent to Shiomi Nawate Avenue.

Matsue Do-gyoretsu - Drum Parade Festival
14th and 15th October
he "do"drums,each have a diameter of two meters,are placed on large floats and are pulled by children. The drums are accompanied by flutes,and the sound of this energetic procession echoes through the city.

- source : www.city.matsue.shimane.jp/kankou


External LINKS :

Festivals in Iwami region, Shimane
source : iwamitravelguide

The Kojiki
Yomotsu Hirasaka
Yamata no Orochi
Tales of Okuninushi
The Roots of Kabuki
Izumo Taisha
source : www.japanesemythology.jp/

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

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Gabi Greve said...

Matsue Dogyoretsu
Drum Parade Festival
Date: 12 October 2014
Around Matsue Castle

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

The tenth lunar month (now November), after the harvest when the Japanese gods had done their duty, they left their local shrines for a bit of a vacation. They would all go for an audience and to celebrate at the great shrine of Izumo, so the rest of Japan was "without gods".

Many related rituals
At the end of the month-long "working-meeting" at Izumo Taisha the deities gather for a final meeting
naorai 神宴(直会) to celebrate and drink ... at the shrine
万九千神社 Mankusen Jinja
before they travel back on the 26th day 神等去出.

Gabi Greve said...

Kumano Taisha 熊野大社 Grand Shrine of Kumano, Matsue
more information

Gabi Greve said...

The Legend of Kunibiki - From Izumo-no-kuni Fudoki