Skip to main content.

Archives

This is the archive for 25 September 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

Right after leaving the Hase temple, I head for the shrines of the Mount Miwa. Or better, for the Mount Miwa, which is itself a shrine, and for countless other shrines which derive their power from the sacred mountain. Even today, it is forbidden to enter it, but the priests of the Miwa Shrine complex can grant access to a specific path leading to a special shrine on the top.

The fact that the mount itself is a shrine is made clear by the most majestic tori-i in the world. It can easily be seen from kilometers away, as it's a 50mts tall structure, and it looks impressive even from Google Earth:

null

Placed right in front of the center of the mount, at the right distance and in the right proportions to "enshrine" it, this monument declares the mount as a sacred entity itself. It is said that the mount is the shintai (true embodiment) of Oo-mono-no-nushi-no-mikoto, or "The Master of the Big Things", and it's the most important God and Kami (I already explained the difference) after Amaterasu-no-mikoto -- and probably there was a time in which it was even more important.

Indeed, the shrines on the mountain, taken one by one, are smaller in "ground size" than the Ise Jingu, but they are way richer and more elaborate, functionally more complex (in the sense that they always had more "room" for teaching and worshiping the Way of the Kamis), and taken together, they fill a larger area.