Sunday, September 11, 2016

Oyamazumi Shrine, Omishima

The island of Omishima holds a place in history as an island in the path of a significant sea route between the old capital of Kyoto and the island of Kyushu, along with routes to western Japan and mainland Asia.

No one knows when it started but the shrine became an important stop for samurai who would visit the shrine and pray before going to battle. If the battle was a success, they would return to the shrine, offer a prayer of thanks and make gifts of their weapons, armor and other offerings.

The shrine is in a grove of Camphor trees, with a 3,000 year old tree in the center of the shrine grounds. Wrapped in ceremonial ropes, the trees are considered sacred. The guardian statues at the main gate are dressed in armor, reflecting the samurai influence of this shrine.

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