In the TANBA Region, the north of KYOTO prefecture, there is a very historically important Shinto shrine called “MOTO-ISE KONO JINJA shrine” which I have mentioned in the past article.
In the field behind the KONO JINJA shrine, there is an “OKUMIYA” (rear shrine) called “MANAI JINJA shrine” where “TOYOUKE-NO-ŌKAMI”, the deity known to be controlling the rice-firming and also revered by people as the most powerful Shinto God is enshrined.
The MANAI JINJA shrine holds once a year a secret Shinto ceremony called “MIARE-NO-SHINJI” (the Shinto ritual of MIARE) to pray for the rebirth of TOYOUKE-NO-ŌKAMI and praise its virtue.
In addition, as explained in the said article, in the premise of MANAI JINJA shrine, there is a spring from which water has been gushing out for 2,500 years from ancient times.
This water is called “AME-NO-MANAI-NO-GOKŌZUI” (the sacred water from the heaven’s well of MANAI)” and known to flourish lives of people.
According to a legend, the patriarchal deity of this area visited “TAKAMA-GA-HARA” (the word of Shinto deities) and brought back with him the sacred water in a golden bowl.
This sacred area is also called “FUJIOKA-YAMA” (literally means a wisteria hill) because it is said there was a myriad of white and purple wisteria flowers bloomed here and there before.
So, it is traditionally handed down that wisteria flower is a symbol of the face of the TOYOUKE-NO-ŌKAMI and the water of the AME-NO-MANAI is a symbol of its soul.
Talking about the MIARE-NO-SHINJI, there is an important character shouldn’t be forgotten which is called “FUJI-HIME”, a wisteria princess.
It is said FUJI-HIME is an avatar of wisteria and a symbol of this MIARE-NO-SHINJI which is a secret ceremony for the rebirth of the powerful God.
You can see the figure of FUJI-HIME in the photo on the left, which looks so innocent and lovely, isn’t it?
Whenever I see her face, I get relaxed and immediately charged with joyful and cheerful power amid today’s harsh and hectic world.
I hope you too could be recharged for this new year by the virtue of FUJI-HIME who is a reincarnation of the most powerful god of Shinto.