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8/14/2011

Nagata Shrine Kobe

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Nagata Shrine Kobe 長田神社  神戸 

兵庫県神戸市長田区長田町3-1-1

According to the Nihon Shoki history, Nagata Shrine was founded by Empress Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 at the beginning of the 3rd century, when she came back from her war with Korea and was on her way to Kyoto.
Her boat suddenly came to a halt near the estuary of Buko river, now near Kobe port 武庫の水門 (Buko no suimon). When she prayed for an answer to this event, the deity appeared to her and asked to be venerated in this region. This happened through the oracle of the rooster, which sounded like the voice of the deity

鶏鳴の聞こゆる里は、吾が有縁の地なり
The place where the voice of the rooster is heared
shall be my home.



She therefore venerated the deity Kotoshiro nushi no kami 事代主神, the son of Okuninushi no mikoto 大国主命.
She also founded the Hirota shrine in Nishinomiya 広田神社 and
the shrine Ikuta jinja 生田神社 in central Kobe to honor this deity.
They all have a history of more than 1800 years.

Other deities venerated at this shrine are
於天事代 あめにことしろ Ame ni Kotoshiro
於虚事代 そらにことしろ Sora ni Kotoshiro
玉籖入彦 たまくしいりひこ Tamakushi iri hiko
厳之事代主神 いつのことしろぬしのかみ Itsunokotoshiro no kami

. Empress Jingu Kogo 神功皇后 .


The famous clay doll from the shrine



shinkei 神鶏 sacred rooster

A male and female make a pair. They are white, with a red head and a bit of black on the tail feathers.
They are the sacred animals of the deity in residence, Kotoshiro nushi no kami 事代主神, the son of Okuninushi no mikoto 大国主命.
Until WWII the shrine kept many chicken and cocks, and was even called
chicken shrine 鶏の社.

The foreigners called it "chicken temple"チキン・テンプル.

BTW, the chicken were all eaten, but now there are more doves than chicken.


Because of this background, the shrine is close to the imperial family history and also to the regents of Japan. Some famous wariours have their little shrines here.

The shrine was badly damaged during the Great Hanshin Earthquake on January 17, 1995, but has been repaired around 1997.


恵比須神・えびす様(事代主神) Ebisu

Kotoshiro nushi no kami 事代主神 is also often seen as one of the Gods of Good luck, Ebisu. Therefore dolls of Ebisu and Daikoku are sold at the shrine.



The seven gods of good luck in Kobe 神戸七福神

大黒天だいこくてん 再度山・大龍寺だいりゅうじ
毘沙門天びしゃもんてん 湊川神社みなとがわじんじゃ
弁財天べいざいてん 生田神社いくたじんじゃ
福禄寿尊ふくろくじゅそん/ 大本山・須磨寺すまでら
寿老人じゅろうじん 有馬温泉・念仏寺ねんぶつじ
布袋尊ほていそん 摩耶山・天上寺てんじょうじ
source : nagatajinja.jp/fuku

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aka-ei no ema あかえいの絵馬 votive tablets of a red manta

The red stingray tablets hang near the small shrine Kusunoki no Miya Inari Jinja 楠宮稲荷神社. The old camphor tree (kusu no ki) is more than 800 years old.
Cinnamomum camphora

The legend knows this:
Once upon a time, a group of red stingrays came up swimming in the river Karumogawa 苅藻川. The villagers went after them, but lost sight of them near the old camphor tree. Since that event, the tree is seen as an incarnation of the red stingray.
If you buy a votive tablet and make a wish, it will heal your hemorrhoids.
source : nagatajinja.jp


. WKD : akaei, aka ei 赤鱏 (あかえい) red stingray
Dasyatis akajei

The red manta are a speciality in the waters of Western Japan.

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Since this shrine is closely related to Empress Jingu Kogo, it used to have some paper hina dolls,

Nagata jinja kamibina 長田神社神雛 "dolls of the Gods" made from paper

I am trying to locate a photo of them.


Sometimes paper dolls were placed under the main mast of a boat to appease the Gods of the Ocean.


kamibina 紙雛 dolls made of paper

They are the origin of the simple paper figures (katashiro 形代) used for purification rituals twice a year.
hitogata 人形(ひとがた) "human figures"


. Hina Doll Festival (hina matsuri 雛祭り) .


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February 3 節分祭 Setsubun Festival

Tsuina shiki 追儺式 Tsuina Purification Ceremony
古式追儺式神事



At this shrine, the demons are not seen to bring evil and bad luck, but to protect the humans and burn evil in the fire of their pine torches and cut bad influence with their large swords.
People try to catch some sparks of the torches to purify themselves and carry some fire home. It brings good luck to the family. Eating some of the flowers made from rice flour 餅花 will protect from illness and protect the family.



ema 絵馬 votive tablets with the seven demons

mochiwari oni 餅割鬼 mochi-breaking demon
shiri kujiri oni 尻くじり鬼 "buttocks-prodder" demon
ichiban taroo oni 一番太郎鬼 first main demon
ao oni 青鬼 blue demon
uba oni 姥鬼 old woman demon
hoosuke oni 呆助鬼 "dumb" demon
aka oni 赤鬼 red demon


Apart from these seven demons, there are five children up to age 10, wielding the swords. This is a time for the little boys to show their bravado and fearlessness. In former times, all these people had to be inhabitants of Nagata village.

. WKD : 節分 Setsubun, the "Seasonal Divide"
"Bean-throwing, mamemaki 豆まき、豆撒き, 豆撒"


List of annual festivals at Nagata shrine.
source : nagatajinja


quote
Tsuina, also known as Oniyarai or Onioi (oni-oi),
is an annual event that began during the reign of Emperor Monmu (A.D 697-708) and was celebrated at the Imperial Court, shrines, temples, and in homes on the last day of the year, It somewhat resembles the bean-scattering ceremony celebrated nowadays by families. Tsuina is now held on Setsubun (the last day of winter by the old calendar) to celebrate the start of spring on the following day.

On the day of the ceremony, seven ogres named lchiban Taro Ogre, Red Ogre, Hag Ogre, Hoosuke Ogre, Blue Ogre, Mochi Ogre, and Shirikujiri Ogre, five boys (aged 10 or so) as sword-bearers, and about a dozen stage managers take part in this traditional divine ceremony.
Only those people who have lived near and supported the shrine for many years may take the part of the ogres.

In order to become purified, they seclude themselves in an "Ogre House" the day before the ceremony and douse themselves with icy cold water practicing their parts: early in the morning of the day of the ceremony, they submerge themselves in the sea at Suma Beach for final purification before assuming their roles.
At around 3:00 P.M the ogres come on atage carrying torches of straw and dancing to the sound of drums and trumpet shells.
Next, Ichiban Taro Ogre, Red Ogre, Hag Ogre, Ho-osuke Ogre, and Blue Ogre, are given their swords and they soon begin dancing, with a torch in the right hand and a sword on the left shoulder. These messengers from the gods keep dancing until 7:00 P.M when the final mochi cracking ceremony is completed.
The flames of the torches burn away all calamity and the blades of the swords cut down all evil coming near.

In the Tsuina Ceremony, every participant prays for good health throughout the new year and celebrates the joy of welcoming another spring. Following the ancient tradition, the onlookers take bits of the extinguished torches to hang over the entrance to their home and eat cracked mochi while praying for a peaceful year.
source : nagatajinja.jp


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The legend of the stone weeping at night
yonaki ishi 夜泣き石


On the way from Nagata along the river Karumogawa near the pass Nagasaka-goe 長坂越え there is an oval stone, almost in the form of Mount Fuji. The villagers of Nagata thought:
"This is a wonderful, special stone. Let us bring it down to the garden of Nagata shrine."
So with great effort they brought it down to the shrine garden.

The priest at the shrine at that time thought by himself:
"There are so many stones in the garden of our shrine, I think it is better if I take this special one for my own garden."
So he brought it to his home in Hirano village.



In the night of that day, something strange happened. As the night deepened, they all heard a strange sobbing and weeping sound, coming from the garden.

"Someone is crying in the garden" thought his family.

The crying and sobbing went on:
"I want to go back to Nagata, sniff sniff,
I want to go back to Nagata, sniff sniff ...!"


But as the priest looked in the garden, he could see nobody. But the sobbing and sniffing went on all night. In the next evening, the priest began to watch the garden.
Again, he heared the sobbing voice:

"Let me go back to Nagata, sniff sniff,
let me go back home to Nagata, sniff sniff ...!"


The priest could still see nobody in the garden, but the weeping seemed to come from the beautiful stone, which was all wet on one side.

Next morning the priest ordered the farmers to bring the stone back to the garden at Nagata shrine, and from that day on, it was called

"the stone weeping at night".
source : nagatajinja.jp

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福のあるまち 長田神社前 sign at the bus stop


talismans sold at Nagata shrine


学業鉛筆型守 pen for study and examination
合格守 pass an examination

足腰健康守 for strong legs
交通安全みす守 for traffic safety
厄除守  warding off evil
開運守 bring good luck
えんむすび守 for good relationships
金運守 bring luck with money
こども守 protect the children
hadami mamori 肌身守 wear at your body

鬼さんストラップ strap with the demons
source : Amulets from Nagata Shrine


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神鶏の胸反らしゆく初明り
shinkei no mune sorashi yuku hatsu akari

the sacred rooster
straightens his breast -
first light of the year


Akao Ei 赤尾恵以 (1930 - )
Born in Hyogo prefecture
source : weblio.jp

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shinkei 神鶏土鈴 sacred rooster clay bells
Great Shrine at Ise 伊勢神宮

. WKD : Ise Shrine and its KIGO .


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. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Reference .


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The same name, but a different deity:


. Nagata shrine in Tottori .
The local deity Nagata Daimyoojin 長田大明神 is enshrined here.





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Empress Jingu founded the Ikuta Shrine near Kobe in honor of Wakahirume.

. Shrine Hibita Jinja 比々多神社 and
Wakahirume 雅日女尊 .



. Folk Toys from HYOGO - Kobe, Himeji .


. Tohoku after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011

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