Saturday, December 15, 2012

Iwami 33 Kannon Pilgrimage: Kitahachimangu


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Though I have yet to finish walking the Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage Ive started walking the Iwami 33 Kannon. Being local it means I can do it in one day sections when the weather window allows. I had wanted to do the old Iwami 33 but many of the temples on it no longer exist... victims of Haibutsu Kishaku I suspect.

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The old and the new pilgrimages both share a majority of temples but the older one started in Iwami Ginzan and the new one starts in Oda. On my way from Oda Station to the first temple I stopped in at Kita Hachimangu.

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A fairly typical Hachiman Shrine, though it was founded in the ninth century, much earlier than many others, and unusually is a branch of the original Usa Hachiman rather than the Kyoto Iwashimizu Hachiman. There are many secondary shrines in the grounds, Ebisu, Aragami, Awashima, Konpira etc

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The most interesting of the secondary shrines is this Kinashi Shrine. It enshrines Susano and connects to when he stopped here on his journey from Sila to Izumo. According to local legends he, along with local kami, travelled back and forth between Izumo and Korea from a point a few miles down the coast... Even more interesting is that this shrine was the original shrine here before the Hachimangu was established.

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