Shimo Jinja vegetables


Frost Shrine (Shimo Jinja)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Shimo Jinja  霜神社  (しもじんじゃ) "Frost Shrine"
A village shrine with these deities
One of the oldest shrines in Japan.
Shimo no miya 霜の宮, more than 2500 years old.

Amatsukami nana hashira 天神七柱 "seven pillars of heaven"
This deity is also venerated in the shrine
Juniso Jinja in Kamakura
source : ecokama

Ama no nanaboshi (Shishisei) 天の七星 The Seven stars in the Sky
the big dipper is Hokutoo Shichisei 北斗七星, also identified with this deity.

Kihachi Ten 鬼八天 see below


CLICK here for PHOTOS !

The farmers pray here that no frost (shimo) will come to the fields in late summer. They also pray for an abundant harvest. They make a fire to keep the gods warm (hitaki gyooji 火たき神事 / 火焚神事). This is the only ceremony of this kind in Japan.
It is performed to keep the evil Kihachi Hooshi 鬼八法師の怨念 from making trouble.

霜延祈願 prayer for no frost
August 13 preparations begin, August 19 the fire is lit under a stone to keep the gods warm and kept burning for 60 days, to warm the seven deities, while prayers for an abundant harvest are spoken. This is done by special shrine maidens (hitaki otome 火焚き乙女), who stay at the shrine for all this time.
CLICK for original, yomiuri shinbun

On October 16 the fire is extinguished. The shrine maidens are finally allowed to go home.
On the evening of October 16, a kagura dance is perfomred.
On October 19, the big shrine festival is held.
On October 29, the prayer session for NO FROST is finally over
mangan no hi 満願の日.

This festival is an important intangible cultural property of Japan since Showa 57.
In former times, one girl of about 10 years had to keep the fire alive with her grandmother, but lately grown-ups keep turns, because the children have to go to school.

The rice for offerings comes from three fields of the paritioners (ujiko). The rice brand is "koshihikari".
霜宮火焚(ひたき)神事 Shimomiya hitaki gyooji


Aso Shrine (阿蘇神社 Aso-jinja)
Aso is one of the oldest and most prominent shrines in Japan

Aso Shrine at Mount Aso in Kyushu is traditionally held to have been a center of worship before the accession of the Emperor Jinmu. The shikinaisha shrine complex at Ichinomiya in what is today Kumamoto prefecture was said to have been established in 281. Ichinomiya literally means "the first shrine" -- of which means in other words that Aso was the first shrine in the province of Higo.

Records link the founding of the shrine to the reign of Emperor Keikō. By the middle of the 11th century, the shrine was involved in national issues as they played out across Kyushu. During the ascendancy of the Kamakura shogunate, the Hōjō clan exercised a significant influence over the affairs of Aso Shrine.

This Shinto shrine is dedicated to the veneration of Tateiwatatsu-no-Mikoto たけいわたつのみこと, who was a grandson of Japan's first emperor and the brother of Emperor Suizei, the second monarch on the traditional list of emperors. In the same period that Emperor Jimmu was establishing his palace at Kashihara at the foot of Mount Unebi in Yamato province,Tateiwatasu was sent to Aso where he helped establish a number of agricultural communities; and later, he is said to have built a palace at Miyagi.

The original location of the shrine is uncertain because it was destroyed and rebuilt many times in or near the crater of Aso-zan. The present buildings date only from the Tempo era (1830-1843).
 © wikipedia

〒869-2221 熊本県阿蘇郡阿蘇町役犬原1005 
旧肥後国 阿蘇郡



The Legend of Kihachi 鬼八 (きはち)

He fought with his lord, Takeiwatatsu no Mikoto, who liked to shoot arrows from the mountains at the farmers. He had Kihachi run after the arrows and bring them back to him, so he could continue his target shooting. Kihachi brings them back but gets tired after the 99th attempt. The lord is angry and wrestles with Kihachi, but Kihache releases a big fart and the lord let go of him. When the lord finally catches Kihachi, he cuts off his head, but whow and behold, the head comes right back on his neck. Also when his arm is cut off, it comes right back. So the lord cuts his arms and legs and has them burried at different places.

After cutting off his head for a second time, the head goes straight to heaven and curses the lord and the people, causing them frost in summer to damage their crops.
So the lord, in order to save the people from starving, begs Kihachi to forgive him and builds Shimomiya to worship him as the
"Frost God" Shimojin 霜神、Kihachi Ten 鬼八天).

CLICK for original LINK ...

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Hoshida Jinja 星田神社 Osaka .
and Ame no minaka nushi no kami 天之御中主大神


Frost Shrine -
the crops shiver
even in August

Nakayama Ishino 中山石野, 2005

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Kumamoto prefecture

***** . Aso Shrine Festivals 阿蘇神社  


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