Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 3

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I met with Mr.H living in Ise, and we decided to go into the woods as far as the source of Isuzu river (五十鈴川)because visiting common places would be boring. On the way, I found a small local shrine near Naiku (内宮)called Uji shrine(宇治神社). Its deity is called “god of foot” and I hear some famous marathon runner visits this shrine to pray.

  • source  源
  • shrine 神社
  • on the way 途中で
  • pray 祈願する

When passing the shrine by car, I perceived strong spiritual energy of a fox spirit. Unfortunately, a lot of negative energy of human greed was accumulated there and its original function was hidden. According to Mr.H, the shrine had existed before Niku was founded and it’s the center of the indigenous faith. Some people suspect it used to be the true Ise Grand Shrine. Because of my Kenzokushin’s order, I decided to visit the shrine again on the way back.

  • perceive 近くする
  • unfortunately 残念なことに
  • greed 欲望
  • accumulate 蓄積させる
  • indigenous 土着の

The forest road along Isuzu river was very narrow and dangerous. It was within the holy precincts of Ise Grand Shrine and general people other than inhabitants were prohibited from entering it. The road was so narrow that two cars couldn’t pass each other. On the left side of the road was the precipice of the river. I drove carefully with a truck for forestry or a local person’s car often coming from the opposite direction.

  • narrow 狭い
  • precincts 境内
  • other than 以外の
  • prohibit 禁止する
  • precipice 断崖

Historically speaking, the whole basin of Isuzu river belonged to Ise Grand Shrine, but parts of the area were registered by private citizens after the World War Ⅱ under the direction of GHQ, General Headquarters of the Allied Forces.

  • historically speaking 歴史的に言えば
  • basin 流域
  • register 登録する
  • direction 指示

Going up the river a little, I found the river suddenly narrowed. I was very surprised to see a lot of megalithic groups near or in the river. There were some gigantic stones as large as a house. Such a scenery is peculiar to Ise, I thought.

  • narrow 狭くなる
  • suddenly 突然
  • megalithic group 巨石群
  • peculiar 特有の

Ancient gigantic stones called Iwakura(磐座) are where God descends on. They function as memory devices for spiritual energy of Holy Spirit. The larger a stone, the more spiritual energy it can amass.

  • ancient 古代の
  • descend 降臨する
  • device 装置
  • amass 溜め込む

I felt that this geological formation where a lot of gigantic stones lie has something to do with the reason why Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神) chose Ise as the sacred place of God. I suppose that there are a number of gigantic stones as large as a house deep under the ground of Naiku and Geku(外宮)of Ise Grand Shrine.

  • geological formation 地層
  • have something to do with A Aと何か関係がある
  • sacred 神聖な
  • suppose 仮定する

After looking at the megalithic groups along the river, I visited Uji shrine. This shrine is outside the jurisdiction of Ise Grand Shrine. There was a signboard in front of the main building, on which the names of deities and famous historical people were written. This way of spelling their names is wrong, I thought.

  • jurisdiction 管轄
  • signboard 掲示板
  • building 建物

Looking at a small mountain in front of the main building casually, I felt strong holy energy. The mountain itself must’ve been a super gigantic stone. Then I got a vision that ancient people are performing rituals regarding this gigantic stone as Iwakura. I thought the rumor that this shrine might be the origin of Naiku is not altogether unreasonable. After this, I headed for a much more dangerous spot.

To be continued.

  • casually 何気なく
  • ritual 儀式
  • rumor 噂
  • not altogether 完全に〜という訳ではない
  • head for A Aに向かう

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