Eleven Shrines in Izumo: Izumo Taisha

We visited eleven shrines in Shimane in the month of May 2015. These shrines are connected with Isanami, Isanagi, Amaterasu, Susano-o, and Okuninushi.

I have found that the land of Izumo is truly Susano-o’s land. Izumo was developed because Susano-o came, saved and married Inatahime, and stayed to establish a kingdom. His parents, Isanami and Isanagi, are honored here, as is his “sister” Amaterasu. Susano-o built his palace for his bride and his children, and wrote a famous waka which is remembered nearly two thousand years later.

Ohonamuchi, Susano-o’s first son, in turn became a great leader and innovator who made the land to prosper. When Ohonamuchi gave up autonomy to Yamato, he received the name Okuninushi, Great Lord of the Land.

The old shrines of Izumo were former palaces of Susano-o and Ohonamuchi. Later shrines were built by or for Ohonamuchi/Okuninushi. The most famous is Izumo Taisha. This shrine’s precinct is absolutely huge. The land must have prospered greatly by the time it was built.

Izumo Taisha  出雲大社

Hotsuma Tsutae (H.T.) says that Izumo Taisha was first built as the Kushi-Inada palace for Sosanowo at a place called Suga. On the other hand, Izumo Fudoki (733 CE) states that It was the land of Kizuki where Okuninushi pulled up land and stamped on it, District of Tatenuhi. Izumo Taisha deifies Okuninushi, son of Susano-o. The purification shrine on the approach to the main shrine enshrines the four haraedo kami, the first and foremost being Seoritsuhime.

Day 3-11 Izumo TDSC04182_835 Day 3-11 Izumo TDSC04171_824 Day 3-11 Izumo TDSC04176_829 Day 3-11 Izumo TDSC04170_823