Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine

Japanese Shrine |Beautiful Japanese culture!|Mount Miwa #04‐Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine

三輪山シリーズ#04 「大神神社の三ツ鳥居」
Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine


Do you know about Japanese Shinto Shrines? Omiwa Shrine is one of the oldest shrines in Japan and have an interesting shrine gate! At 4T-AMKY, Teachers and Students write about Japanese culture, food, history, many spots to visit, and other stuff. Enjoy reading and knowing about deeper Japanese culture!


Mount Miwa#04 ‐Mitsu-torii of Omiwa Shrine.


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There is a sacred gate called Mitsu-torii in Omiwa Shrine. It is made up of one large central Torri (gate) flanked by two smaller torri. It is an important cultural heritage site.

Omiwa shrine also has a haiden (worship hall) where visitors can worship the divine Mt. Miwa.  The area beyond the haiden is considered sacred ground and is one of the areas on Mt. Miwa where people are forbidden to enter.  This Mitsu-torri stands between the worship hall and the forbidden area.

The green mountain and the red torrii depicted in the photo are Mt. Miwa and Mitsu-torii.

The Omiwa Shrine doesn’t contain a honden (main sanctuary) which is normally found in other sanctuaries worshipping kami.  Thus Mt. Miwa itself is regarded as kami and this Mitsutorri seems to take the role of the doors of the main sanctuary.

Furthermore, this Mitsu-torii has another special feature.  The Shimenawa (a sacred shinto rope made of rice straw) decorates the upper part of the Mitsu-torii but is curiously turned in the opposite direction.  Usually, the right part of the Shimenawa is thicker; however, the one on the Mitsu-torii is reversed with the left part being thicker.  This is uncommon but not unique.  The shimenawa of Izumo Taisya (which is one of the biggest shrines in Japan, and is known as the “Home of all Japanese Kami”, because it is believed that all of the thousands of Kami in Japan visit here each year in November) is also decorated in the same way.

You can see a picture of the Mitsu-torri in the official website of the Omiwa Shrine.  In real life, it is awe-inspiring and evokes a solemn atmosphere.


Memo: Kami is the object of worship in Shinto. It is also translated into Shinto deities or Shinto gods.


三輪山シリーズ#04 「大神神社の三ツ鳥居」

特徴

大神神社には三つ鳥居と呼ばれる鳥居があります。

中央の大きな鳥居の両脇に小さな鳥居が横に並んでいる形をしていて、国の重要文化財にもなっています。

三輪山の麓(ふもと)、大神神社の拝殿と禁足地の間にあります。

写真のイラストに描かれている緑色の山がご神体の三輪山で、赤い鳥居が三つ鳥居です。

大神神社には、一般的な神社に見られる本殿がありません。参拝者は、拝殿の奥にある三つ鳥居を通して、御神体である三輪山を拝みます。なので、三輪山を本殿とすれば、この三ツ鳥居は、本殿の御扉(みとびら)の役割を担っていることになります。

そして、もうひとつ珍しい特徴があります。それは、中央の鳥居に飾られているしめ縄の向きが普通の神社とは反対です。普通は、右側が太く左側が細くなるように飾られていますが、大神神社の三つ鳥居のしめ縄は、左側が太くなっています。同じようなのに出雲大社(日本でも規模の大きな神社のひとつで、毎年11月に日本中の八百万(やおよろず)の神がやって来ることから、“神々の宿”として有名な神社)のしめ縄の向きもそうです。

実際の三ツ鳥居の写真は、大神神社の公式ホームページで見ることができます。可愛らしく描かれているイラストとは違い、写真からも荘厳な雰囲気が伝わってきます。


Aki. S.

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