Sunday, July 16, 2017

Hashigui-iwa Rocks - Part of Yoshino-Kumano National Park

This amazing formation of rocks was formed from magma coming up and cooling. The rocks in the foreground are parts of the magma that have been carried away from tsunami's. The rocks were exposed when the surrounding mudstone wore away from erosion.

The rocks are part of the Yoshino-Kumano National Park.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Hashigui-iwa Rocks of Wakayama

This is a volcanic rock formation with a history linked to fabled Holy Priest, Kobo-Daishi. It was said that an ancient demon was jealous of the knowledge and wisdom of Kobo-Daishi. The demon dared Kobo Daishi to build a bridge connecting Kushimoto to Oshima Island in one night. Having almost completed the bridge except for the top stones, the demon pretended to be a rooster and faked a morning call, forcing Kobo-Daishi to honor his agreement and not finish the bridge.

Information on this formation is here.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

How Tokei-jinja Shrine Was Named

Statue of Benkei with his father and fighting cocks

As the Genpei war (a battle between the Genji clan and the Heike clan) changed from land warfare of the Ichinotani to sea warfare, the movements of the Kumano navy, which was the strongest in Japan at the time, had a big effect on the situation. Both Genji and Heike approached Kumano Betto Tanzo (the leader of the Kumano navy) to appeal for support. Benkei, on Yoshitsume's orders (who was on the Genji side), hastened back to Tanabe to speak with his father Tanzo. To confirm God's wishes, Tanzo ordered seven cocks with red feathers to fight seven cocks with white feathers representing the Heike Clan and the Genji clan respectively. The white ones won and so Tanzo decided to side with the Genji clan. On Tanzo's command, his navy and the Benkei went to the battle field of Don-no-ura, Yamaguchi prefecture. With two thousand soldiers and two hundred ship's, the Kumano navy greatly contributed to the Genji clan's victory which took place on April 25, 1185, ushering in the age of the Samurai.

Tokei Shrine

Tokei-jinja is a shrine located in Tanabe city near the Kii-Tanabe station.  It is a part of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage route - Tokei means "fighting roosters." The shrine is part of a world heritage tour into some of the most scenic and sacred parts of Japan. Kumano has been regarded as a place for recovery. 

Pilgrimage to Kumano that is Yominokuni (Hades, the next world after death) cleanses your soul, and when you come out of it, you would have a second life.

655 Minato, Tanabe 646-0031
Wakayama Prefecture

A link to the Shrine's website.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Crossing the Seto Inland Sea

Traveling by the Vessel Ferry Katsuragi. Want to see where it is in real time? Click here.