JAPAN PICS
Kashima City, Ibaraki
ˆïéŒ§Ž­“ˆŽs
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  Kashima-jingu Shrine (Ž­“‡_‹{)
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2010
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2002
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2008
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2008
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2011
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2012
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2012
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2012
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2012
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2010-2012
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2010-2012
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2011
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2011
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2011
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2011
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2010
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2010
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2010-2012
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2010
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2010
Nagasaki
  
   Nagasaki City
2010
Oita
  
   Oita City
2010

Kashima City, Ibaraki (ˆïéŒ§Ž­“ˆŽs)

12 March 2006

  Kashima City, Ibraki Prefecture, is located is in the east part of the Kanto District, Central Japan, on the Pacific Ocean side of Honsyu Island.  It takes about two hours to reach Kashima from Tokyo Station by train or highways bus.  It can be reached within only 30minutes from the New Tokyo International Airport [Narita Airport] by car.
  Since the ancient times, Kashima has been known as the shrine town of Kashima-jingu Shrine which is sacredly in the precincts surrounded by dense trees.  Kashima Town (Ž­“‡’¬) became Kashima City (Ž­“ˆŽs) after the merger with Ono Village (‘å–쑺) on September 1, 1995.
  At present Kashima is well known as a hometown of Kashima Antlers, one of the best soccer club teams of Japan.  Its name "Antlers" is derived from the sacred deer legend of Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  The population of Kashima City is 64,275 (December 1, 2005).  Its area covers 92.96 square kilometers.


  For further information of Kashima in connection with Kasuga-taisha Shrine,
    Go to the "Nara Central" page.


 

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Kashima-jingu
     Kashima-jingu Shrine (Ž­“‡_‹{) is one of the Japanese oldest shrine which was built in the 7th century BC when Japan the country was established in the Japanese myth according to the alleged shrine record.  Doubtlessly, it is the oldest Japanese shrine in the Kanto District.  It is dedicated to Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami (•áP’Æ‘å_), a god of peace and martial valor, and also known as one of the two guardian gods of the powerful Fujiwara clan (“¡Œ´Ž) and their Kasuga-taisha Shrine (t“ú‘åŽÐ), Nara.  In the Mythological Age, Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami descended to the Izumo District (o‰_’n•û) of Japan Okuninushi-no-Mikoto (‘卑Žå–½) had ruled according to the order of Amaterasu Omikami (“VÆ‘å_) or the Sun Goddess (the ancestral goddess of the Japanese Imperial Family) and unified Japan together with Okuninushi-no-Mikoto in obedience to the direction of Amaterasu-Omikami.
  After unifying Japan, Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami traveled throughout the country and finally settled dowin in Kashima, an important center of land and water traffic to work for the development and management of the Kanto District.  In Kashima, He was enshrined as a strong god of peace.
  In the Nara and Heian Periods (710-784/794-1191), it was the custom to raze the buildings of the Kashima-jingu Shrine every 20 years and erect new ones on adjacent plots.  In those days, the Imperial messengers as famous for Kashima-zukai (Ž­“‡Žg) were frequently dispatched to the shrine.  This is the origin of the old Tokaido-Line.  In the Middle Age, the shrine was worshipped especially by the Samurai worriors such as Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199;r.1192-1199), the founder of the Kamakura Shogunate (1183/1185-1333), as the god of martial valor.
  The present main shrine was donated by Hidetada Tokugawa (1579-1632; r.1605-1623), the second Shogun of Tokugawa Shogunate, and the shrine gate by Yorifusa Tokugawa (1603-1661), the first lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan."  It is noted that their own great sword called "Futsu-no-Mita-ma-no-Tsurugi" (•z“sŒä°Œ•;•½‘Œ•;‹à“º•Ž½“h•½•¶nE•““‚ŸC), presumably made in the late Nara Period, is the only "national treasure" in Ibaraki Prefecture.
  The address is, 406-1 Kyuchu, Kashima City, Ibaraki (ˆïéŒ§Ž­“ˆŽs‹{’†406-1).
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(Sunday 13 March) "O-Torii" (the Great Shrine Gate), Kashima-jingu Shrine
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(Sunday 13 March) Map of Kashima-jingu Shrine
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(Sunday 13 March) Inscription Stone for the following tanka poem by Otonoribe-no-Chifumi (‘åŽÉl•” ç•¶) collected in "Manyo-shu" (The Anthology of a Myriad Leaves):
  
  Arare-furi
  Kashima-no-Kami wo
  Inoritsutsu
  Sumeramikusa ni
  Ware wa Kinishi wo

  (When it hailed,
  Praying for
  God of Kashima,
  Into The Imperial Army
  I was called.)
    (trans. Eishiro Ito)
  
  Otonoribe-no-Chifumi was a "sakimori" (a soldier garrisoned at strategic posts in Kyushu in ancient times) from Hitachi-no-kuni.  This poem is said to have been written in 755 when he left here for the service, praying for his safe journey and success in war.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Ro-mon" (the Two-Storied Gate/Tower Gate), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Yorifusa Tokugawa, the first lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan in 1634.
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iks2006-007
(Sunday 13 March) The right guardian statue of "Ro-mon" (the Two-Storied Gate/Tower Gate), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Yorifusa Tokugawa, the first lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan in 1634.
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(Sunday 13 March) The left guardian statue of "Ro-mon" (the Two-Storied Gate/Tower Gate), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Yorifusa Tokugawa, the first lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan in 1634.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Ro-mon" (the Two-Storied Gate/Tower Gate, viewed from inside), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Yorifusa Tokugawa, the first lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan in 1634.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Hai-den" (the Oratory) and "Hon-den" (the Main Shrine), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Hidetada Takugawa, the second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1619.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Hai-den" (the Oratory), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Hidetada Takugawa, the second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1619.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Hai-den" (the Oratory), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Hidetada Takugawa, the second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1619.
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iks2006-014
(Sunday 13 March) "Hai-den" (the Oratory) and "Hon-den" (the Main Shrine), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Hidetada Takugawa, the second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1619.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Kari-den" (the Temporary Main Hall), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  The "Kari-den" was used when the main shrine was under construction in the early seveneenth century.  It was donated by Hidetada Takugawa, the second Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1619.
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(Sunday 13 March) A place for putting "O-mikuji" (fortune telling paper slips), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  "O-mikuji" are fortune telling paper slips or written oracles found at many shrines and temples.  Randomly drawn one after paying 100 yen or so, it contains one of predictions ranging from "dai-kichi" (great good luck) to "dai-kyo" (great bad luck).  By knotting the piece of paper around a allocated tree's branch in the precincts, good fortune will come true or bad fortune can be kept out, as the Japanese people believe.
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(Sunday 13 March) Main approach to the inner part of the shrine, Kashima-jingu Shrine
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(Sunday 13 March) Main approach back to the "Ro-mon" gate, Kashima-jingu Shrine
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(Sunday 13 March) Main approach back to the "Ro-mon" gate, Kashima-jingu Shrine
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(Sunday 13 March) "Roku-en" (the deer garden), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  Deer are the sacred animals here because the myth tells that God of Deer "Ame-no-kaku-no-kami" (“V‰Þ‹v_) came to Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami (•áP’Æ‘å_) as the messenger of Amaterasu Omikami (“VÆ‘å_): Thus, this shrine has been regarding deer as the messengers of God.  Another legend tells that Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami took one year to Nara to establish Kasuga-taisha Shrine (t“ú‘åŽÐ), riding on the sacred white deer and also taking many deer carrying many spirits in 767.  The present deer (about 30) are the descendants of the sacred deer of Kasuga-taisha Shrine.
  It is noted that there are no "Koma-inu" (foo-dogs/ stone-carved guardian dogs at the gate of a Shinto shrine) here as well as Kasuga-taisha Shrine because deer are generally scared of dogs.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Roku-en" (the deer garden), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  Deer are the sacred animals here because the myth tells that God of Deer "Ame-no-kaku-no-kami" (“V‰Þ‹v_) came to Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami (•áP’Æ‘å_) as the messenger of Amaterasu Omikami (“VÆ‘å_): Thus, this shrine has been regarding deer as the messngers of God.  Another legend tells that Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami took one year to Nara to establish Kasuga-taisha Shrine (t“ú‘åŽÐ), riding on the sacred white deer and also taking many deer carrying many spirits in 767.  The present deer (about 30) are the descendants of the sacred deer of Kasuga-taisha Shrine.
  It is noted that there are no "Koma-inu" (foo-dogs/ stone-carved guardian dogs at the gate of a Shinto shrine) here as well as Kasuga-taisha Shrine because deer are generally scared of dogs
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(Sunday 13 March) "Oku-no-miya" (the Inner Shrine/the former main shrine), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Ieyasu Tokugawa (1542-1516), the founder of Tokugawa Shogunate in 1605.  It was located near the "Ro-mon" gate and functioned as the main shrine until 1619 when Hidetada Takugawa donated another shrine.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Oku-no-miya" (the Inner Shrine/the former main shrine), Kashima-jingu Shrine.  It was donated by Ieyasu Tokugawa (1542-1516), the founder of Tokugawa Shogunate in 1605.  It was located near the "Ro-mon" gate and functioned as the main shrine until 1619 when Hidetada Takugawa donated another shrine.
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(Sunday 13 March) A modern carving of Takemikatsuchi-no-Okami, on the way to "Kaname-ishi" (—vÎ), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
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(Sunday 13 March) This is the wood board for introducing Issa Kobayashi (¬—шꒃ; 1763-1827)'s haiku poem:
  
  Onae ni
  Bikutomosenuya
  Matsu-no-Hana

  (Even a big earthquake may occur
  A pine flower here would
  Withstand the shock splendidly.)
    (trans. Eishiro Ito)
  
  Kobayashi Issa visited this shrine May 26, 1817 and made the above poem, knowing the sacred stone called "Kaname-ishi."
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(Sunday 13 March) A stone lantern and a small shrine dedicated to "Kaname-ishi" (the Keystone or "Mimashi-ishi"; The Sitting Stone), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the Mythical Age, the God of Kashima-jingu Shrine sat in this stone which was described in "Manyo-shu" (The Anthology of a Myriad Leaves).  Another legend tells that this is "Iwakura" (”֍À), the place where some great gods sat .  You might think this stone is just a small stone, but you will see this is just a part of a very gigantic rock, if you would be allowed to dig it up.  According to the shrine record, Mitsukuni Tokugawa (1627-1700; also known under the name "Mito-Komon"), the second lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan, commanded his retainers to dig up the stone.  They tried to dig it up for seven days, but finally gave up and concluded it impossible.  Another record tells that many of the retainers mysteriously got injured during the work.
  Some people still believe that "O-Namazu" (the Great Catfish) lives beneath the stone which has been keeping on holding down the malicious fish.  Otherwise the Great Catfish would go on a wild rampage, which would cause a great earthquake.  It is a common Japanese superstition that catfish is mysteriously related to earthquakes.  The local people believe that no great earthquake would occur in the area thanks to "Kaname-ishi": In fact, this area is almost free from big earthquakes.
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(Sunday 13 March) A small shrine dedicated to "Kaname-ishi" (the Keystone or "Mimashi-ishi"; The Sitting Stone), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
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(Sunday 13 March) "Kaname-ishi" (the Keystone or "Mimashi-ishi"; The Sitting Stone), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the Mythical Age, the God of Kashima-jingu Shrine sat in this stone which was described in "Manyo-shu" (The Anthology of a Myriad Leaves).  Another legend tells that this is "Iwakura" (”֍À), the place where some great gods sat .  You might think this stone is just a small stone, but you will see this is just a part of a very gigantic rock, if you would be allowed to dig it up.  According to the shrine record, Mitsukuni Tokugawa (1627-1700; also known under the name "Mito-Komon"), the second lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan, commanded his retainers to dig up the stone.  They tried to dig it up for seven days, but finally gave up and concluded it impossible.  Another record tells that many of the retainers mysteriously got injured during the work.
  Some people still believe that "O-Namazu" (the Great Catfish) lives beneath the stone which has been keeping on holding down the malicious fish.  Otherwise the Great Catfish would go on a wild rampage, which would cause a great earthquake.  It is a common Japanese superstition that catfish is mysteriously related to earthquakes.  The local people believe that no great earthquake would occur in the area thanks to "Kaname-ishi": In fact, this area is almost free from big earthquakes.
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iks2006-043
(Sunday 13 March) "Kaname-ishi" (the Keystone or "Mimashi-ishi"; The Sitting Stone), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the Mythical Age, the God of Kashima-jingu Shrine sat in this stone which was described in "Manyo-shu" (The Anthology of a Myriad Leaves).  Another legend tells that this is "Iwakura" (”֍À), the place where some great gods sat .  You might think this stone is just a small stone, but you will see this is just a part of a very gigantic rock, if you would be allowed to dig it up.  According to the shrine record, Mitsukuni Tokugawa (1627-1700; also known under the name "Mito-Komon"), the second lord of the Mito-Tokugawa clan, commanded his retainers to dig up the stone.  They tried to dig it up for seven days, but finally gave up and concluded it impossible.  Another record tells that many of the retainers mysteriously got injured during the work.
  Some people still believe that "O-Namazu" (the Great Catfish) lives beneath the stone which has been keeping on holding down the malicious fish.  Otherwise the Great Catfish would go on a wild rampage, which would cause a great earthquake.  It is a common Japanese superstition that catfish is mysteriously related to earthquakes.  The local people believe that no great earthquake would occur in the area thanks to "Kaname-ishi": In fact, this area is almost free from big earthquakes.
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iks2006-044
(Sunday 13 March) This is the wood board for introducing Basho Matsuo (¼”ö”mÔ; 1763-1827)'s haiku poem:
  
  Kono Matsu no
  Mibaeseshi yo ya
  Kami no Aki

  (This pine tree germinated
  In the Age of
  Autumn of the Gods.)
    (trans. Eishiro Ito)
  
  Matsuo wrote the above poem when he visited this shrine in 1667.
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(Sunday 13 March) Basho's haiku board and a haiku box on the way to the Mitarashi-ike pond, Kashima-jingu Shrine
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(Sunday 13 March) "Mitarashi-ike" (ŒäŽèô’r; the Pond of Washing Hands), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the ancient times, it was a place of the Shinto purification.  Still, the sacred water swells out by 432 kiloliters per day even in the year of drought.  Some people often come here to draw the water from the spring.
  The depth of the pond is very mysterious: it can never exceed anybody's nipples' height.
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iks2006-051
(Sunday 13 March) "Mitarashi-ike" (ŒäŽèô’r; lit. the Pond of Washing Hands), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the ancient times, it was a place of the Shinto purification.  Still, the sacred water swells out by 432 kiloliters per day even in the year of drought.  Some people often come here to draw the water from the spring.
  The depth of the pond is very mysterious: it can never exceed anybody's nipples' height.
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iks2006-052
(Sunday 13 March) "Mitarashi-ike" (ŒäŽèô’r; the Pond of Washing Hands), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the ancient times, it was a place of the Shinto purification.  Still, the sacred water swells out by 432 kiloliters per day even in the year of drought.  Some people often come here to draw the water from the spring.
  The depth of the pond is very mysterious: it can never exceed anybody's nipples' height.
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iks2006-054
(Sunday 13 March) "Mitarashi-ike" (ŒäŽèô’r; the Pond of Washing Hands), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the ancient times, it was a place of the Shinto purification.  Still, the sacred water swells out by 432 kiloliters per day even in the year of drought.  Some people often come here to draw the water from the spring.
  The depth of the pond is very mysterious: it can never exceed anybody's nipples' height.
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iks2006-055
(Sunday 13 March) "Mitarashi-ike" (ŒäŽèô’r; the Pond of Washing Hands), Kashima-jingu Shrine.
  In the ancient times, it was a place of the Shinto purification.  Still, the sacred water swells out by 432 kiloliters per day even in the year of drought.  Some people often come here to draw the water from the spring.
  The depth of the pond is very mysterious: it can never exceed anybody's nipples' height.
  if you feel hungry here, you can try the tasty dumpling "Mitarashi-dango" (rice dumplings with sweet soy sauce) available in the shop near the pond.



        


Copyright (c) 2006 Eishiro Ito.  All rights reserved.