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Kamigamo Shrine, Koyama Mountain, residence of the Kamigamo Shrine kami (deity)
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Kamigamo Shrine, Koyama Mountain, residence of the Kamigamo Shrine kami (deity), result 1 of 1

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Public
Available to everyone
Title
Kamigamo Shrine, Koyama Mountain, residence of the Kamigamo Shrine kami (deity)
Work Type
documentary photographs
Date
20th century
Location
Creation/Discovery Site: Asia»Japan»Kyoto»Kyoto
Kamigamo Jinja
Description
Work Description: 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). KOYAMA MOUNTAIN: As with Shimogamo, Kamigamo’s deity has always resided outside the shrine. A rock on the (small) Koyama hill serves as the Kamigamo deity’s residence. The rock is still in existence and the area considered holy. Kamigamo priests are only permitted to visit the deity’s rock abode after several days’ purification; abstinence from certain foods, avoidance of all sexual activity etc. Although only a small hill, Koyama may have been a key point in the early planning of Heian-Kyo (as the capital was known in Heian times). Some people assert that, despite its small size, the mountain was visible from as far south as Marutamachi Street before modern high-rise Kyoto blocked the view. It is probable that Kamigamo is the older of the two Kamo Shrines. The origin (perhaps some family feud within the Kamo clan?) of Shimogamo is not clearly advertised. Nor is it clear whether Shimogamo’s Kawai Shrine may have predated Shimogamo itself. Nevertheless, in locating their deities outside the shrine precincts and situating them on protective and important mountains, both shrines, despite their eminence, clearly maintain a “primitive”/animistic Shinto ideal. Both shrines consider the ritual of bringing the gods from their respective mountains an essential part of the Aoi Festival preparations; each shrine “collects” their deity from a mid-way point, in Shimogamo’s case from Mikage Shrine on the foothills of Mount Hiei, and in that of Kamigamo from a symbolic rock in the middle of their golf course. The mid-way point is also believed to be a feature of very early Shinto. Public access to Koyama is prohibited (by Kamigamo, who owns the hill), but paths made by foresters, wood-cutters and mountain walkers do exist. The abode of the deity is thus kept well out of the public eye and tourists to Kyoto are never made aware of Koyama’s significance.
SC Accession
498572D
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.
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File Properties
File Name
16169969.fpx
SSID
16169969

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