Diary on a Trip to Ise – PART 8

When I was driving toward a highway leaving Ise behind, where I stayed for three days, I noticed there were a lot of signboards with the word “Uji(宇治)” or “Yamada(山田)” on them. I considered what “Uji-Yamada” really meant. Some local person told me that old people living in Ise had called the Ise region “Yamada” since long time ago. When they go to Ise, they say “I’m going to Yamada,” not “Ise.”

  • leave A behind  Aを後にする
  • notice 気がつく
  • signboard 看板
  • consider  よく考える
  • region 地方

In the study of folklore, it is said that oral tradition often depicts the ancient world correctly. Though there are many theories on the origin of the name Yamada, what came to my mind was the word “confrontation.”

  • folklore 民俗
  • oral 口の
  • depict 描く
  • theory 説
  • confrontation 対立

According to my spiritual vision, the area before the main gate of Geku used to be called Yamada, while the area around Naiku Uji. One day in an ancient time, one of the three stone pillars that acted as a medium for the presence of God was brought from Mt.Hakusan to Geku, and after this many rites and rituals came to be held there. At this time, Naiku didn’t exist yet. The foundation of Naiku is relatively recent.

  • according to A Aによると
  • ancient 古代の
  • stone pillar 石柱
  • medium 媒介物
  • exist 存在する
  • relatively  比較的に
  • recent 最近の

Because the stone pillar was one and only, wooden pillars of Hinoki, a Japanese cypress, were substituted for it and put under the grounds of the main buildings of Geku and Naiku as special holy objects of worship. This pillar is called “Imibashira(忌柱)” “Ameno-mi-hasira(天ノ御柱)” or “Ameno-mi-hakari-no-hashira(天ノ御量柱).” I can “see” the ancient stone pillar brought from Mt. Hakusan has been buried deep under the ground of a certain holy area of the precincts of Geku.

  • substitute 代用する
  • object 対象
  • worship 崇拝
  • precinct 敷地

The shinto ritual where a new wooden pillar is put under the ground of the main building of Geku and Naiku every twenty years is the most important of all. It is a secret ritual held by high-ranked shinto priests at midnight.

  • every A years A年毎に
  • high-ranked 高位の
  • priest 神官

I feel that ancient people in Ise lived only in the area in front of Geku. Naiku was surrounded by a huge forest. Ruins of the Jomon Era such as pit dwellings must be discovered at the Yamada district where Geku is located. The name of Yamada is derived from the transition of pronunciation from “Yamatai” to “Yah-ma-tai” to “Yah-ma-da” to “Yamada.” That is, Yamada was part of Yamataikoku(邪馬台国), the historical Japanese state thought to have existed during the late Yayoi period.

  • ruin 遺跡
  • era 時代
  • pit dwelling 竪穴式住居
  • be derived from A Aに由来する
  • transition 移り変わり

The sound of Yamataikoku lies in the name of Yamada. Yamataikoku that the Gishi-wajin-den(魏志倭人伝) refers to  ruled the regions, ranging from Ise to the whole region of Kumano, and its capital was near Mt. Miwa in Nara prefecture. I feel that Himiko(卑弥呼) is the name of a position and there were successive Himikos. Yamatohime-no-mikoto(倭姫命)was one of such Himikos.

  • refer to A Aに言及する
  • range 範囲に及ぶ
  • successive 歴代の

It was when Princess Yamato-hime came to the present Ise, carrying part of Amaterasu-oho-mi-kami(天照太御神)on her back that the area around Naiku was developed. Uji (氏)clan of a privileged class, came to Ise from Nara and developed the present district of Uji(宇治). The name of “宇治” comes from that of the clan, “氏.”

  • develop 開発する
  • clan 族
  • privilleged class 特権階級

There was an emotional conflict for a long time between the people who had lived in Yamada district since ancient times with their indigenous faith, and the aristocracies who came to live in Uji, with a river lying between. It can be said that the confrontation between them corresponded to that between Kunitsu-kami (国津神)and Amatsu-kami(天津神). I feel that people in Yamada district had exchanges with those in Isobe(磯部) district,  a seaside town beyond a mountain, because they also kept the second stone pillar of Mt.Hakusan.

  • conflict 摩擦
  • indigeous 土着の
  • aristocracy 貴族
  • transcription 転写
  • corrspond 相当する
  • exchange 交流

I left for another shrine, Takihara-no-miya shrine(瀧原宮), enjoying the ancient view my holy spirit showed me.

To be continued.

  • another もう一つの
  • view 眺め
  • holy 聖なる

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

I AM GRATEFUL FOR BEING KEPT ALIVE.