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Enoshima Shrine / Enoshima Kanagawa

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The tree shrines(Hetsunomiya, Nakatsunomiya, and Okutsunomiya) in the Enoshima Island are generally grouped together and called Enoshima Shrine.
Enoshimima Shirne enshrines three sister goddesses, Tagirihimenomikoto, Ichikishimahimenomikoto, and Tagitsuhimenomikoto the same as Munakata Shrine in Fukuoka.
Okutsunomiya, which enshrines Tagirihimenomikoto used to be called Hongu Otabisho, the place where the Goddess resided to avoid the heat during summer.
It was burned down in 1841.
The present building was rebuilt the next year.
You will find a stone Torii Gate donated by the Kamakura Shogun, Minamoto no Yoritumo on the grounds and a picture, Happo Nirami no Kame (a turtle glaring in all directions) painted by Hoitsu Sakai (artist, Edo period) on the ceiling of the sanctuary.
The statues of Happi Benzaiten and Hadaka Benzaiten are placed in Hoanden on the grounds of Hetsunomiya.
This Hadaka Benzaiten is one of the three major Benzaiten statues in Japan and is also worshipped as one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, as a Muse who manages artistic skills.
During the Edo period, a wide range of society, including commoners, actors, and the samurai had faith in her and here they bustled together as pilgrims.


[FUKUISHI(Lucky Stone)]
Kengyo Sugiyama(real name: Waichi Sugiyama) was born in Ise in 1610.
He lost his sight when he was a child.
He learned acupuncture under famous acupuncturists but he suffered from his clumsiness to acquire the technique.
He confined himself in Iwaya Cave and went on a fast of 21 days.
On the last day of the fast, he tripped over this stone and lost consciousness.
When he woke up , he found a bamboo rod with a pine needle inside.
It inspired his acupuncture technique.
He cured the 5th Edo period Shogun, Tsunayoshi Tokugawa with the technique, he ascended to a high position, Kanto-So-Kengyo.
It is said that if you find something around this stone, you will have good luck.
So this stone is called FUKUISHI(Lucky Stone).


According to tradition(Enoshima Engi), a Buddhist monk named Ryoshin, who visited the court of the Song Dynasty in China on Buddhist mission for the Shogun Minamoto no Sanetomo, was given this stone by Zen Priest Kennin with reference to Enoshima in 1204.
Enoshima Engi says the stone was carved with lean lines on for sides, a dragon motif in relief on the upper parts of the right and left sides, and the words with seal characters, ’Purification of Site for the temple in Enoshima, Japan.’
But they can no longer be read because of abrasion.
In 1701, a shelter was donated by Kengyo Shimaoka who was a pupil of Kengyo Sugiyama.


This stone monument is one of the “Koshinto” monuments (stone monuments dedicated to gods, with engraving of monkeys,) built in 1832.
The writing was by Sekinen Abe who was known as a Confucianist of Fujisawa and calligrapher.
He died in 1835.
His grave is at Manpuku-ji(temple) in Kugenuma.


[GUNEN HOSAIZO KOSHINTO (Stone monument dedicated to Gods with engraving of Monkeys)]
This unusual Koshinto is engraved with this there that many monkeys praise and celebrate Sanno-shin for their God.
This is built of granite, 143cm in height(Top: 86cm) and 42cm wide.
It is assumed this was built in the late Edo period though there is no inscription about the date or donor.
The winding snakes on the pedestal are connected with the Enoshima Benzaite belief.


Minamoto no Yoritomo was the first Shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate.
He introduced religion into his politics, and built temples in various places.
He visited Enoshima Shrine and stayed there to pray all night-long several times.
As often as he visited Enoshima Shrine, he donated some religious objects.
According to the historical book ”Aauma Kagami”:
In 1182, Yoritomo ordered the Buddhist monk Mongaku, who belonged to Takao-san Jingo-ji(Temple), to pray for the Benzaiten’s descent to the Iwaya cave and for a curse on his enemy, Fujiwara no Hidehira of Hiraizumi, Oshu(Northern Japan).
Yoritomo donated this Torii Gate during that visit.
The gate was damaged by a typhoon in 2004.
Though the gate was renovated,it is considered to be close to the original.


[KAMEISHI(Turtle-Shape Stone)]
According to the old writing, “Kameishi is one of Kamakura’s famous four stones, and is known as Zorokuishi(turtle stone).”
In Buko chronologu there is an episode about the stone.
In 1806 Benshudo who worshipped Benzaiten, made a copy of the sutra ‘Konkomyosaishookyo’ and dedicated the copy to Enoshima Shrine.
When he was looking for a stone to use as a paperweight for the copy, he accidentally found a turtle-shaped stone.
He dedicated the stone to Enoshima.
Kameishi is placed under the giant ginkgo tree.


[HAPPO NIRAMI NO KAME(Picture of Turtle)]
This is a picture of the front view of a turtle painted by Hoitsu Sakai in 1803, the Edo period.
This is called Happo Nirami no Kame(Turtle Glaring in All Directions) as the turtle appears to be looking directly at you, regardless from which angle you look.
The original picture is preserved in the treasure house of Enoshima Shrine to avoid damage from the sea breeze.
The picture at Okutsunomiya is areplica painted by the artist Kayo Kataoka in 1994.



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