Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hidden Shrines of Ise - 2

“Alright, where shall we go next?” Mr.H is thinking… “There is a very old shrine by the beach in Toba. The road is very narrow and hard to get there. Do you want to try?” Something told me that I should go there. So we went. We went into the very narrow trail in the middle of the town. There was no sign about a shrine. Not only was it extremely narrow but very bumpy, up hills and down hills. I was so glad that no car came from the other side. Finally we were able to pass through the foresty trail and came to a small beach. We parked the car and walked towards the torii gate.

The shrine was called Izawa-jinjya (伊射波神社). The sando path towards the shrine was very long steep and old. The stairs were worn away. When I had climbed up about a hundred meters, I turned around. The blue ocean was there with the torii in front. Suddenly, a vision came to me. The scene was in the super ancient time. A creature was climbing up the path that I am walking right now. The creature’s top half is a man and bottom half is a crocodile. Her stomach is big. I can tell she is pregnant. The path, sando (参道), can also be read as “the birth path” (産道). The creature gave birth at the top of the hill where the shrine was standing. My retainer told me that this is “Toyotama-hime.”

Turtles and other creatures come to the sand to lay their eggs. This custom has been the same since the ancient times. I think the orginal meaning of Ubusuna (産土) is “the soil of a mountain.” The direct translation of Ubusuna is “the sand of birth.” Maybe because the soil in the mountain could better preserve the eggs than the sand near the ocean, the creature went all the up to the top of the mountain.

Ubusuna means "the sand for the birth.” From the vision, this idea became clear in my head.

Once before, when I had visted Kinpirak-gu (金比羅宮) in Shikoku, I also envisioned half man half crocodile creature going up the path towards a shrine.

In the super ancient times, I believe that in a short period of time, there were creatures like half man half crocodile around the Pacific Rim. Around this time, the world wasn’t still completely materialistic. The earth was still experiencing a dimension where creatures were half spirit half material.

In the Japanese mythology, we see half man half animal type of creatures. It looks like a cartoon and unreal, but it is simply showing the truth of the old days. The modern science is totally ignoring this fact. They will never come to understand the truth about the beginning of human race if they cannot accept that we used to be half spirit or ghost at one point.

This shrine, Izawa-jinjya (伊射波神社) has the same name as Izawa-no-miya in The Grand Shrine of Ise. These two shrines are not so far apart. Izawa means to “bring things in peace to make oneness.” It also hides a deeper metaphor about the goddess Kukuri-hime who brought Izanagi and Izanami together. The hidden key goddess in the Japanese history.

Toba is a wonderful place, full of shrines with living gods in existence. To be continued…

Ikashite-itadaite Arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hidden Shrines of Ise - 1

A local man of Ise, Mr. H and I planned to make a trip to visit secret sites. We met at the parking lot of Gekū. He says, “Well lets see… where shall we go.. hmmm… Lets go to a place most people wouldn't know.” There was an entrance behind the parking lot of Naikū. There was a small shrine close to the entrance. He said it is Uji Shrine. An Uji-gami, a regional god who protects the Naikū region, resides at this shrine. The shrine has another name “God of Feet.” Mr. H said that a famous marathon runner comes to this shrine before his race.

We went further deep inside the forest tracing the source of Isuzu River. When we were passing the shrine, I sensed a presence of a strong fox spirit. Unfortunately, today wishful prayer business is thriving and the real purpose of the shrine is hidden. But according to Mr.H, this shrine has been here even before the establishment of the Naikū and has been a sacred place for the local people of Ise. Some people say that this shrine could be the original Ise Shrine. At this point, my Kenzoku-shin, a retainer god, reacted. So I decided to pay a visit to this shrine on the way back. The road becomes very narrow from here. This whole area is a sacred land. Only the local people and the priests are allowed to enter. The road was very narrow but there were quite a few local people driving down the road. It took quite a skill to pass by. The land around the Isuzu River was once owned by the Ise Shrine, but after loosing the WWII it was controlled by the GHQ and later sold to the commoners.

The river became narrower as we went further up. What surprised me was the size of the rocks. In this narrow river, there were numerous rocks in the size of a house. I have never seen such a place. Giant rocks are called Iwakura (磐座) where god spirits reside. The rocks hold the memory of the electro-magnetic energy of the god spirits. The bigger the size the more it can hold the energy. I feel that one of the reason why Amaterasu-Ohomikami chose this place, Ise, as the central sacred land is because of its geological formation. I would assume that many giant rocks as big as a house exist under Naikū and Gekū. And those rocks could hold an immense amount of energy of the god spirits.

After observing the giant rocks, we returned to Uji Shrine. At the main shrine, the name of the worshipped god was stated on a board. However, there were other names of a historically famous people written on 30 poles next to the god’s name. That was a little bit awkward for me.

When I went to the front of the main shrine and looked up to the small mountain behind it, I felt the shinki (神気), a sense of the divine. I would assume that this small mountain is made out of one giant rock. I could see in the ancient times, people used to worship all of these giant rocks as Iwakura. The rumor about this shrine being the original Naikū may well be true.

We continued our journey to go to another hidden shrine. (to be continued)

Ikashite-itadaite Arigato-gozaimasu

Thank you for letting us live