- Mysteries surrounding the Kamosu Shrine
- A step into the holy site
- The gods of relationships are here too!
Mysteries surrounding the Kamosu Shrine
There are too many unknown facts and details about the Kamosu Shrine, as there are no mentions of it in “Izumo Fudoki” (a history of Izumo), or “Engishiki-kannacho” (A list of the Japanese shrines back in 927).
I would like to introduce a short mythology that my family has passed on to me since I was little.
The sun goddess, Amaterasu, sent Amenohohinoto to Earth to force Okuninushi to give up his land. Amenohohinoto never returned, because he had become a loyal follower to Okuninushi. Amenohohinoto never returned to Amaterasu and built the Kamosu Shrine, where his descendants ruled for the next 25 generations. After 25 generations, the Kamosu family was ordered to create the Izumo Shrine in 659 A.D.
Consequently, the creators of Izumo Shrine are the Kamosu family who had already ruled the Kamosu Shrine for 25 generations! It might be that because of its ancient status, the Kamosu Shrine does not appear on the front page of history.In November, it is said that the eight million gods of Japan congregate in Izumo to discuss the “en”, or connections between people. Kamosu Shrine holds the “Kami-greeting festival” every year to welcome the gathering gods.
On an unrelated note, Amenohohi is said to have descended upon Earth in a rice cooker. That rice cooker is still enshrined here today, and a festival celebrating the rice cooker is held every December 13th.
A step into the holy site
As soon as you take a step through the torii gate, a tight, crisp atmosphere surrounds you.
The steep stone steps leading up a hill will take you to the few shrines at the top, with the largest one towering in the middle of the square.
The best part of visiting this, that I recommend, is this momentary awe you may feel as soon as you climb up the stairs.
Ancient trees seem to reach the sky, loom over the shrines, and surround the square. The goshinboku (the holy tree, recognized by a Shinto rope wound around the waist of the tree) is so tall that it’s impossible to see the top.
On weekdays when there are not many people, the mystical atmosphere is even more prevalent; it is so quiet that even the shrine office is not open
When my grandfather brought his foreign friend to Kamosu, his guest was apparently so moved that he looked as though he was possessed.
As soon as the guest got to the shrine, he fell to his knees and cried,
“This is the place I’ve been looking for!” and held that awestruck position for a while.
The gods of relationships are here too!
Looking for some better relationships and connections with other people? Many people head to Izumo Taisha for such wishes, but why not consider Kamosu Shrine too?
Izanagi and Izanami, enshrined here, are said to be the creators of the Island of Japan, and had many, many children who started to build the country. Therefore, people can wish for prosperous descendants, national safety, safety at home, prosperous agriculture, and wealth. In addition, because Izanami is said to had died while giving birth to the fire and steel gods, Izanami is known to be the goddess of steel-making.
Due to the sparse amounts of tourists, it is definitely worth stopping by Kamosu Jinja when you’re in Matsue.
Do as the Shinto gods do!