Monthly Archives: June 2016

Summer Solstice 2016 at Kanayama Megaliths

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Our friends at Iwaya-Iwakage blogsite have posted the latest photos from summer solstice at Kanayama Megaliths. Please visit:

https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/summer-solstice-2016/

The post begins:

Summer solstice arrived at Kanayama Megaliths on June 22, 2016. Three days before, namely June 19, sun rose around 5:40 from the mountains behind clouds. Although its light could be seen between the two megaliths, the sun barely lit a dim path between them (left photo).

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Hida Koku and Birth of Hida Kuni Jomon Dynasty

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Iwaya-Iwakage,our sister site, has just posted a series of articles that begins:

Birth of Hida Kuni Jomon Dynasty

The land of Hida, where the Kanayama Megaliths are located, may not be so well known historically as other parts of the country such as Kyoto and Nara. And yet its history stems from the Jomon Period, 12,000 BCE to 300 BCE. In the article presented below, the unnamed author declares that there are many folkloric sources that reveal the possibility that Hida was the  place where civilization began, ultimately leading to the modern nation of Japan. 

https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/hida-koku/

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Hi no Michi, Path of Sun

A fuller report on Hi no Michi is presented by Iwaya Rockbat at:   https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/hi-no-michi-path-of-sun/

Hi no michi ya

aoi katamuku

satsuki ame

— Basho

Hi no michi, the path of the sun in the sky.

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Photo credit:  http://studiesofplantsandwildlife.blogspot.com/

Hi no Michi alignment map.  We have recently encountered the map of important shrines throughout Japan connected by the Hi no Michi. Hi-no-michi mapSee: https://okunomichi.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/awa-mystery/.

Hi no Michi at Kanayama Megaliths.   The solar calendar of Kanayama Megaliths is based on the path of the sun during the year. The sun travels in a certain zone in the sky. Its northern limit is during the summer solstice day, while its southernmost is at winter solstice. At equinox, the sun travels the central path in the sky.

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http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Secliptc.htm

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Dashed Spotlight and Lahaina Noon as Summer Solstice Indicators

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Iwaya Rockbat published the May 21 dashed spotlight report for 2016, https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/dashed-spotlight-of-21-may-2016/

The appearance of this spotlight in the grotto of Senkoko-Ishi heralds the coming of summer solstice 31 days hence, in other words June 21, 2016 at Kanayama Megaliths. And 31 days after the solstice, July 23, the dashed spotlight will make its last appearance of the year. There are 62 days between the two dates, and the solstice is in the middle. Remember, between spring and autumn, the sun daily moves northward until the solstice and then moves southward, retracing is path. This dashed phenomenon only lasts for a few days each time.

Okunomichi has published two posts on Lahaina Noon, (1)2016-05-25 12.27 stopsignhttps://okunomichi.wordpress.com/2016/05/07/1711/  and (2) https://okunomichi.wordpress.com/2016/05/.

What is Lahaina Noon? It is the popular term used in the Hawaiian Islands for the two days per summer when the noontime sun is directly overhead any given spot in the Islands (Okunomichi link 1). On those two days, the zenith sun casts no shadow of thin vertical objects such as poles and stop signs (Okunomichi link 2). Those two dates in 2016 for four Hawaii cities are listed in the first of the two posts. For Honolulu, Oahu, the dates are May 26 and July 15; for Hilo, Hawaii, they are May 18 and July 24. On the Tropic of Cancer, there is only the one date of the summer solstice itself, June 20.

It occurred to Iwaya Rockbat that stop signs such as the one shown by Okunomichi can be used as indicators of summer solstice date, just as the dashed spotlight does. Using the dates given for Honolulu, May 26 and July 15, we counted the number of days between them and found there were 50 days. The middle date will occur 25 days after May 26. It will be June 20. It is exactly right for Honolulu!

For Hilo, the two dates are May 18 and July 24. The designated summer solstice date is June 20. Again, this is perfectly right!

So, what prevents us from using signposts in Hawaii to determine by observation the date of the summer solstice? The big issue is the accuracy of observation. The day before the photo was taken, Okunomichi had taken a similar photo of the same signpost. The shadow was close to non-existent. It was nearly the same. We conclude that this is not a very accurate way of determining the date of summer solstice. A place closer to the equator would be better, but how much better?

On the other hand, the megaliths of Senkoku allow a special beam of light to strike the side of stone A’ in the grotto. Most of the time, after clearing that side panel, the sunbeam lands on the floor of the grotto. Only on a few special days a year does it illuminate the “bumps” on the triangular face that the ancients had carved especially for this purpose. The arrival and end of the dashed spotlight is a delicate determinator of the summer solstice date.

We can marvel at the ingenuity of the ancient people who created with wonderful solar observatory using megaliths!

Awa Mystery

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Hi-no-michi Map, Izanagi Jingu, May 2016

In our post on Woshite World, https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/894/we mentioned a mystery of an alignment of shrines that has been proposed at Isanagi Jingu on Awajishima, in Awaji-no-kuni. We first encountered it here, Onogoro and Kuni-umi Myth.  Then we received much information from Hitoshi Uchiyama. We are grateful to him for sharing the results of his research.

There is a theory that all the “Awa” place names are related in some way. For the sake of discussion, let us disregard the kanji rendering of “Awa.” There are several different kanji and they may be totally irrelevant to the reasoning of the story. We must remember that Awa is a word from Isanami/Isanagi times, long before kanji was introduced into the written language. That is to say, “Awa” would have been written in Woshite moji with the Woshite syllables for “A” and “Wa.” In hiragana, it is written  あわ.

Awaji.  We have noted that Isanagi Jingu on Awaji island has a monument with a map of shrine alignments called Hi-no-michi. Hi-no-michi means path of the sun. This shrine is ichinomiya of Awaji. Note that Awaji means road to Awa.

Awa-no-kuni.  There are two Awa-no-kuni we’ve mentioned so far. The original at Oumi from the time of Isanami and Isanagi. The other is Awa-no-kuni on Shikoku, adjacent to Awaji (now Tokushima, home of the popular awa-odori). There is a third Awa in today’s Chiba-ken. And there is an indirect connection between Kumano and Awa in Chiba through some place names in common, such as Shirahama and Katsu-ura. 

Awa in Hida.   Norikuradake, Mt. Norikura, in Hida was once called Awa-dake, Mt. Awa. And, at the border of Hida and Shinano kuni (now Nagano), there is Abo-toge Pass, written with kanji that can be read “Awa-toge.” This makes four places where Awa is found.

Miyazaki.   Now, let’s introduce the (possibly) unifying element, Jimmu Tenno. He bore the name Kamuyamato-Iwarehiko in the seventh century BCE, a sixth-generation descendant of Isanami and Isanagi. He unified the land of Yamato beginning from Miyazaku, Kyushu. The Miyazaki area was called Himuka or Hyuga.

Iwarehiko developed plantations in different areas. Fusa-no-kuni is in present Chiba-ken. During the campaign, Iwarehiko was also in Osaka and Kumano. The similarity of cultures can be noted among Hyugo/Miyazaki, Awa/Shikoku, Kumano (east coast of Kii), and Awa/Chiba. These are all places visited by Iwarebiko. One can surmise that he is possibly the unifying factor among them. A look at the southern coastlines of Honshu, Shikoku and the eastern part of Kyushu — all places where he has been — can be convincing.

Alignment Theory.   This reasoning has led some to believe that perhaps Iwarehiko is the one who initiated the alignment of shrines such as that on the Hi-no-Michi of Isanagi Jingu on Awajishima. The shrine’s GPS coordinates are 34.46, 134.85.

Shrines of the Hi-no-Michi Alignment.   There are four cardinal directions and four solsticial directions, centered at Isanagi Jingu. At latitude 35 degrees, the solstice directions are 30 degrees north and south of east and west. (At latitude 34.5, the solstice angles are less than 30 degrees.) This makes for the stunning geometry seen in the alignment map. The cardinal shrines are:

North:   Izushi Jinja  出石 神社 (ichinomiya of Tajima 但馬国 , Tamba-no-kuni)

East:   Ise Jingu 伊勢神宮 (内宮 Naigu)     

South:   Yuzuruha Jinja  諭鶴羽(ユズルハ), Awajishima

West:   Kaijin Jinja 海神 神社(かいじんじんじゃ), Tsushima

The solsticial shrines are:

SSR:   Suwa Taisha 諏訪大社 (ichinomiya of Shinano  信濃国一宮)

WSR:   Kumano Taisha  熊野大社

WSS:   Takachiho Jinja  高千穂神社, Ama-no-Iwato Jinja  天岩戸神社

SSS:   Izumo Taisha  出雲大社 (ichinomiya of Izumo), Hinomisaki Jinja  日御碕神社

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