Japan46 Miyajima3 Itsukushima Shrine

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YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS PRESENTATION HERE: http://www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda/japan46-miyajima3 Thank you! Itsukushima is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima, which in Japanese means the Shrine Island. It is said that Itsukushima Shrine is one of the Three Scenic Views of Japan. In the late Heian Period, the current shrine building was constructed in its present form, as a shrine on the sea. The conception of a shrine, whose grounds include the sea, with its form ever changing with the ebb and flow of the tides, is like nothing else in the world. In December of the year Heisei 8 (1996), Itsukushima Shrine was registered as a World Heritage Site. Looking out over the Inland Sea before it and crowned to its rear by Mt. Misen, a sacred mountain where the gods are believed to have descended to earth, Itsukushima Shrine strikes a harmony between natural and man-made beauty

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JAPAN Miyajima Short but sweet touching trip 3

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Miyajima Island (official known as Itsukushima Island) floats like a diamond in the Inland Sea of Japan. From the misty beginnings of Japanese history Miyajima has been classified as one of the most scenic places in Japan.

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It is said that Itsukushima Shrine, one of the Three Scenic Views of Japan, was established by Saeki-no-Kuramoto. In the late Heian Period, the current shrine building was constructed in its present form, as a shrine on the sea, with the assistance of Taira-no-Kiyomori. The conception of a shrine whose grounds include the sea, with its form ever changing with the ebb and flow of the tides, is like nothing else in the world.

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An aerial view of the Itsukushima-jinja torii

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A chōzuya or  temizuya is a Shinto purification fountain   for a ceremonial purification rite known as temizu

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Water-filled basins, called chōzubachi, are used by worshipers for washing their left hands, right hands, mouth and finally the handle of the water ladle to purify themselves before approaching the main Shinto shrine or shaden

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This symbolic purification is normal before worship and all manned shrines have this facility,  as well as many Buddhist temples  and some new religious houses of worship

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The temizuya is usually an open area where clear water fills one or various stone basins. Wooden dippers are usually available to worshipers

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Lanterns which we often see at shrines and temples, were introduced from Baekje, an ancient city of Korea, in the Nara period. They are dedicated to prayer for the help of Gods. They are usually made of stone, copper, or iron. We often see stone or copper lanterns outside shrine or temple buildings .

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The hanging lanterns along the corridors were firstdedicated by Terumoto Mori, a grandchild of Motonari Mori. The lanterns of those days were made of casting iron and the shape was different from what it is today. They are now stored in the Treasure Hall. The present lanterns were made of bronze in the early 1900, which were modeled after those of 1366

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Green branches of Sakaki: Sacred Tree of Shinto

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In the Shinto religion of Japan, nature is sacred. To be in contact with nature is to be close to the gods, and natural objects are worshipped as sacred spirits, or kami. Especially sacred is the sakaki (Cleyera japonica), an evergreen tree found in Japanese mythology, literature, and sacred rituals Tamagushi - literally "jewel skewer“ is a form of offering made from a sakaki tree branches and strips of paper, silk, or cotton that are offered to kami in ceremonies at Shinto shrines

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In December of the year Heisei 8 (1996), Itsukushima Shrine was registered as a World Heritage Site. In background Mount Misen, a sacred mountain where the gods are believed to have descended to earth and the two storied pagoda

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Miyajima Tahoto (Two-storied Pagoda) built in 1523

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Green branches of Sakaki and Zigzag shaped paper streamers, known as O-Shide or Shide used in Shinto rituals

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The zigzag papers are immediately apparent to anyone who visits Japan. They are very ancient and are thought to date from the Heian period (794-1185 AD). They probably represent the very earliest kind of paper folding in Japan The zigzags form a family of related kinds of ritual symbols  

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The incredible concept for building a shrine standing in the sea was either an attempt to build the mythical Ryugu-jo (Dragon Palace) because the enshrined goddess is the goddess of the sea. Or, it was built as a manifestation of the faith in the Buddhist belief of Pure Land during the Fujiwara Period. It was believed that when people died, their soul cross over by boats the "next world" to go to Gokuraku Jodo (paradise, Buddhist Pure Land)

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The five storied pagoda seen from Itsukushima Shrine

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Komainu are a pair of lion-like guardian figures placed at each side of a shrine or temple entrance, or a worship hall, and are believed to ward off evil spirits

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Purification fountain

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Marodo Shrine (Shrine for the Guest Deity) Haraiden (purification hall)

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Main Shrine (Honden)

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Main Shrine (Honden)

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Main Shrine (Honden)

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Komainu One of the statues with its mouth open is male and the other with its mouth closed is female

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Associated with the Itsukushima shrine, and considered a part of its sacred geography, are seven much smaller shrines positioned at intervals around the 19-mile circumference of the island. There are no roads to most of these shrines therefore pilgrims use small boats to approach the rocky shores where the temples are located

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The beautiful Otorri gate, standing in the sea and leading to the Itsukushima shrine, is the symbol of Miyajima Island

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The present Otorii, the eighth that was constructed since the Heian period (794-1192), was built in 1875 with the wood of camphor trees

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Ema  wooden wishing plaques of Japanese shrines

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Zigzag shaped paper streamers, known as Shide and sacred Sakaki (Cleyera japonica)

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Shimenawa is a rice-straw rope with shide paper strips. It marks the border between a sacred place and the secular quarter. The origin is said to have begun when the Goddess Amaterasu was taken out of the heavenly cave (ama no iwato), the God, Futodama-no-mikoto closed the entrance of the cave with shimenawa rope, to prevent Amaterasu from reentering. Today Simenawa is used to prevent bad luck and evil spirits from entering. Shimekazari (straw rope decoration) put at the entrance on New Year also has the same meaning.

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The Itsukushima Shrine extends out over the water so that at high tide it seems to be floating on the sea. It consists of the Main Shrine and many subsidiary shrines and buildings all connected by wide corridors and galleries. Itsukushima Shrine has been designated as a National Treasure

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Sake barrels, but they are  not full of rice wine. When displayed near a Shinto shrine, such barrels are called  kazaridaru,  which means “decoration barrels.”

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The decoration of barrels known as kazaridaru signifies a spiritual connection and relationship between brewers and shrines for prosperity. Most brewers donate these sake barrels to shrines for Shinto ceremonies, rituals and festivals. Japanese believe that sake acts as a symbolic unification of Gods and people

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Sori-bashi (Arched Bridge)

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Sori-bashi (Arched Bridge)

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Sori-bashi (Arched Bridge)

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Sori-bashi (Arched Bridge)

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Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foi ş oreanu Nicoleta Leu Gabriela Balaban Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi ş oreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda Sound : Wagaku - Shinto Shamanic Kagura Dance Music ( Kuniburi No Utamai ) 2016

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