Javascript must be enabled to view this site.

Read our system requirements.

Kamigamo Shrine, Romon gate and at right the Ganjo rock
1 of 1

Kamigamo Shrine, Romon gate and at right the Ganjo rock, result 1 of 1

Item Details
Public
Available to everyone
Title
Kamigamo Shrine, Romon gate and at right the Ganjo rock
Work Type
documentary photographs
Date
20th century
Location
Creation/Discovery Site: Asia»Japan»Kyoto»Kyoto
Kamigamo Jinja
Description
Work Description: Usually overlooked by most visitors, the ganjo rock, located outside the Romon Gate, is in many ways the “holy of holies” of Kamigamo. It clearly predates the creation of the shrine’s main sanctuary and is indicative of the Shrine’s origins in very early “primitive” (or “animistic”) Shinto, when deities were believed to reside in rocks, trees and other natural phenomena. During the Aoi Festival, an Imperial Messenger (chokushi) proceeds from the Imperial palace (Gosho) to first Shimogamo and then Kamigamo Shrines bearing a message from the Emperor to the Kamo gods. In Kamigamo, the festival completely ignores the structures of the main sanctuary, as the deity is believed to be temporarily resident in the ganjo rock, rather than the sanctuary. The head priest stands on this rock to hear the imperial message. KAMIGAMO SHRINE: The Kamo Shrines (Kamigamo and Shimogamo) are among the most important in Kyoto. Kamigamo Shrine is often ranked in importance after the Ise and Izumo Shrines (these latter being dedicated to the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu, and her miscreant brother, Susano-O no Mikoto). Early animistic, or “Primitive Shinto” believed that the gods (kami) resided in rocks, tress, mountains and other natural phenomena and had to be appeased regularly with suitable offerings in order to ensure the well-being of the community. In both the Kamo Shrines, the main deities are held to reside in rocks on significant hills, outside the Shrine precincts themselves. This is unusual, in that later “Shrine Shinto” (codified around the time of the creation of the legends embodied in the Kojiki and Nihon Shoki Chronicles in the 8th century), usually considered that the various deities were resident within their own shrines. Kamigamo's deity, Kamo Wakeikazuchi-no-Kami, is believed to reside primarily in a rock on Koyama Hill, some distance from the shrine. The origin myth of this deity states he is the son of Princess Tamayorihime-no-Mikoto, one of the deities of Shimogamo Shrine. Legend tells that one day, while bathing (whether in the Kamo River or the Izumi stream of Tadasu-no-mori is not clear), an arrow came flying down which the Princess took back home to the Shrine. At night the arrow transformed itself into a handsome young man (god) with whom the Princess conceived a child. The child, an equally good-looking young man, Kamo Wakeikazuchi-no-Kami, flew off in a thunderbolt to become the deity of Kamigamo Shrine. The legend is depicted on Kamigamo Shrine screens and is the origin of the both shrines’ association with arrows (that have thus come to be regarded as a symbol of fertility).
SC Accession
498578D
SC Order
ord025526
Rights
Image and scholarly information provided by David Boggett. Cataloging provided by Smith College Imaging Center, Department of Art, Hillyer Hall, Northampton, MA 01063; Elisa Lanzi, Director; voice: 413-585-3106; fax: 413-585-3119; elanzi@smith.edu. To use this image for purposes outside of the ARTstor Terms and Conditions of Use, please contact: David Boggett, davidboggett@Yahoo.co.uk. ©David Boggett. Universal
This image was provided by Smith College; Smith College only; Limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only.
Image and scholarly information provided by David Boggett. Cataloging provided by Smith College Imaging Center, Department of Art, Hillyer Hall, Northampton, MA 01063; To use this image for purposes outside of the ARTstor Terms and Conditions of Use, please contact: David Boggett, davidboggett@Yahoo.co.uk. ©David Boggett. Universal
This image has been selected and made available by a user using Artstor's software tools. Artstor has not screened or selected this image or cleared any rights to it and is acting as an online service provider pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §512. Artstor disclaims any liability associated with the use of this image. Should you have any legal objection to the use of this image, please visit http://www.artstor.org/copyright for contact information and instructions on how to proceed.
License
Use of this image is in accordance with the Artstor Terms & Conditions
File Properties
File Name
16160325.fpx
SSID
16160325

Now viewing Kamigamo Shrine, Romon gate and at right the Ganjo rock