Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Journey : Ise ~ Kumano to Tenkawa 6

After leaving Takahara-no-miya shrine, I drove on Route 42 for quite a while. There were no traffic lights and the road was on a high hill looking down towards the Pacific Ocean. It was a pleasant drive. As we got close to Kumano City, the road becomes closer to the seashore. A huge ferry had a falling-load accident and was stranded off the coast of Kumano. The towing ships looks so small, and the ferry doesn’t seem like it was going to move at all. It looked like a lying whale. The accident happened before my visit to Kumano. Kuma(熊), bears, meant God as an archaic word. And the accident happened here at the offshore of Kumano. However, fortunately, no one was hurt from this accident and to me this whole incident was felt as a message.

After leaving the scene, we arrived to Kumano Hayatama Taishya. The whole surrounding area had become very commercial. When I read the history and origin of this shrine, it said that the god worshipped at this shrine, his body resides at Kamikura Jinjya as a Iwakura (a divine energy descending giant rock) named “Gotobiki-iwa”. I sent my gratitude in front of the vermilion main shrine of Hayatama Taishya and moved on to visit the rock.

Gotobiki-iwa resided at the top of a hill after climbing over five hundred old wobbly stone steps. This place appears in the Kojiki, Records of Ancient Matters, as Emperor Jimmu visited this Iwakura rock and overlooked the city of Shingu. Naturally I sensed a very ancient energy at this place. It was much older than the time of Jimmu (around 660 BC). I saw a vision of Jōmon people (14,000~400 BCE ) holding a ritual at this place.

The ritual looked like they were worshiping the two giant rocks as a couple of giant toads’ copulation. In spite of my family’s worry, I had to climb up to the top of the rocks to see what was in between. As I expected, a bunch of small round stones laid there. It was done in an artificial manner. In the ancient times, people did not live long and the idea of procreation was an important factor to receive blessing from the gods.

Going down these steep steps were even harder. It felt like the sharpest steps were as steep as 70 degrees. There are no handrails of any sort. If you have a bad back or weak legs, I don’t recommend you to go there.                              
It came to a big surprise to see young teenage students running up and down these steps for their training.

They looked like a Ko-tengu (small mountain long-nosed goblins). Next visit will be to The Great Water Fall of Nachi.

Ikashite-itadaite arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live

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