Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Journey : Ise ~ Kumano to Tenkawa 4

I drove on Route 12 that starts from the end of the parking lot of Naigū. You pass the Isuzu River and it goes all the way to a town called Nansei-cho right by the Pacific Ocean. I believe this road was made during the Meiji-era to deliver seafood from the bay to Ise city, and also as a passage to Ise Jingu.

I wanted to see the forest of Ise and the source of Isuzu River. The road was extremely narrow, one side looking up a rocky cliff and the other side looking down toward the Isuzu River. There are people living in the forest, so you might have a car coming from the other way. Then you had to back up few meters to find a spot to have them pass through. I must say, I cannot recommend this road at all.

The forest owned by Ise Jingu is massive. Starting from one side of Isuzu River, it goes all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Looking from Route12, the left side was an off-limits zone so we had to go from the right side of the river. On this road was a community hall. It was a very impressive looking log house. The name was “Kōraibiro (高麗広)”. It is a Chinese name, and I sense that it was the name of this area long time ago. I sense that about 2000 years ago, the Chinese people came here to live for a while. For what? The Emperor who originally decided to build Ise Jingu had put many ideas from Taoism. The current main shrines are placed in the doctrine of yin and yan and the Five Agents of Elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth). One of the Ise shrine’s symbol is the star. So at this time, I sense the Emperor invited many families from China in several occasions to learn about Tao, and the name stayed as to how the people called this place.

The trees in forest of Ise were totally used up during the late Edo to Meiji-era. At that time, Ise Jingu was extremely popular and almost 30% of the Japanese population had been visiting the shrine. So they kept cutting down the trees from the forest to cook food and boil teas for the people. It stripped the entire forest. So all the trees now growing are less than 200 hundred years old. When the forest was stripped, the fishes in the ocean also disappeared. The ocean and the forests are connected. When the leaves fall, it produces bacteria and nutrition that is delivered by the river down to the ocean. Nothing goes to waste! So when there weas no forest, the fishes had to go else where.

The source of the Isuzu River was only about two meters wide and the giant rocks were everywhere. The layers of the underground rocks of this mountain are accumulating the divine magnetic energy that is the source of the sacred ground of Ise Jingu.

The sunray coming through the young forest felt fresh and comfortable.

Next, we will go to Takahara-no-miya.

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live

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