Diary on a Trip to Ise – Part 3

81pvowlMOmL

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

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

A Secret of Arrangements of the Buildings of Ise Grand Shrine

81pvowlMOmL

While the Shikinen-sengu ritual of Ise Grand Shrine(伊勢神宮) takes place, ornaments and treasures offered to Kami, or God in shinto, are renewed. The locations of the storage places for these are a little bit strange. Normally, such treasures are kept in inconspicuous places, but these are kept in treasure houses called Touhou-den(東方殿)and Saihou-den(西方殿)standing both sides of the main building where Kami is enshrined.

  • take place 行われる
  • ornament 装飾物
  • inconspicuous 目立たない
  • enshrine 祀る

When you visit Geku(外宮) of Ise Grand Shrine and stand at the place where visitors are permitted to pray, you can see the main building behind the treasure houses. At Naiku of Ise Grand Shrine, on the other hand, the opposite arrangement is used. You see the main building in front and the treasure houses in back.

  • permit 許可する
  • opposite 逆の
  • arrengement 配置

Historians say:

☆ the main building symbolizes North Star

☆ the treasure houses symbolize the South Dipper Six Stars and the North Dipper Seven Stars each

The two types of arrangements symbolize celestial maps of the summer solstice and the winter solstice. In Taoism, the North Dipper Seven Stars are regarded as responsible for “death” while the South Dipper Six Stars “life.” Though I have no objection to it, I feel the arrangements have a more important spiritual meaning.

  • symbolize 象徴する
  • North Star 北極星
  • celestial 天体の
  • Taoism 道教
  • objection 異論

Why is the arrangement of the buildings different between Geku and Naiku? Seen from the above, the arrangement of the buildings of Geku is △, while that of Naiku is ▽. Overlap the two arrangements, and you’ll see a hexagram(✡️).

  • overlap 重ね合わせる
  • hexagram 六芒星

Every time I stand and pray in front of the main building of Geku, I feel intense holy energy, while, at Naiku, I feel more intense energy when I look at the main building at a distance from the back than from the front. At first, I wondered why it was so. I guessed that if I could stand right behind the main building of Naiku, which is prohibited though, I could feel much more intense holy energy.

  • every time S+V SがVする度に
  • intense 強烈な
  • guess  推測する

My psychic reading has reveal that the secret lies in the treasure houses. Treasures offered to Kami are great artcraft works carefully made with the best technique. So artcraft works can be said to be magnetic masses of craftsmen’s thought energy.

  • reveal 明らかにする
  • artcraft work 工芸品
  • magnetic  磁気の

Lacquer wares, for example, are made from trees and Japanese lacquer carefully selected on the premise that they are delivered to Ise Grand Shrine. Time and effort it takes to make an artwork are unimaginable. I hear that craftsmen of treasures dedicated to Ise Grand Shrine have to obey a lot of rules, such as looping the workplace with straw ropes, restricting the entrance to the workplace and so on.

  • lacquer ware 漆器
  • premise 前提
  • unimaginable 想像できない
  • obey 従う
  • restrict 制限する

Artcraft works made with the best craftsmanship like this are positive magnetic masses. So treasure houses containing such artcraft works are like big storage batteries. And I feel these batteries begin to run down in twenty years. This is why the treasure houses, together with other buildings, have to be renewed every twenty years.

  • contain 中に含む
  • storage battery 蓄電器
  • this is why S+V こういうわけでSはVする

The reason why I feel a strong holy energy at Geku is that the treasure houses between visitors and the main building amplify the spiritual energy emitted from the main building. Ise Grand Shine can be said to be a rare religious facility that has been built with practical, spiritual secret arts. My theory is the effective period of the spiritual magnetism is one of the reasons why Shikinen-sengu ritual has to be held every two decades.

  • amplify 増幅させる
  • emit  放出する
  • practical 実践的な
  • ficility 施設
  • theory 説

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