Category Archives: Ancient civilization

Suwa Taisha Harumiya and Akimiya

Harumiya kagura-den in front of heihaiden

Harumiya and Akimiya, Lower Suwa Shrines

The Lower Shrines are on the north side of Lake Suwa. They are the Harumiya and the Akimiya, whose enshrined kami is said to be Yasakatome, spouse of Takeminakata.

Harumiya, Spring Shrine

Harumiya means Spring Shrine. It is in a shady location, and it has a sugi tree as goshintai. It has a haiden prayer hall but no honden containing a sacred object. The lack of a honden and having a sacred sugi tree indicate that this is an exceedingly old shrine, pre-Shinto, related to nature reverence. Having learned that this is where Yasakatome resides in the spring, we could feel her serene presence. It is said that she moves to Akimiya in the autumn. In the previous post we had learned that Takeminakata comes to visit her in wintertime.

Heihaiden prayer hall

A guide to Harumiya precinct can be found here.

Akimiya, Autumn Shrine

Temizuya with hot spring water

Akimiya means Autumn Shrine. It has the ichii tree as goshintai; there is no honden containing any sacred object. Akimiya has an exceptionally hot water temizuya for hand washing. Beware!

Heihaiden of Akimiya

When we approached the heihaiden prayer hall, the priest was performing a ritual (photo left below). After that, just before 5 o’clock, the priest conducted an additional ritual. There was chanting and the heavy beat of the taiko drum. We realized that this was a closing ceremony when we turned around to visit the shrine office to buy an amulet and found the windows being closed. We felt it was a privilege to be at the shrine at that dusky time of day. Somehow the kami seemed to be nearer…

A guide to Akimiya precinct can be found here.

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Togariishi Jomon Museum

Togariishi Jomon Museum

The Togariishi Museum of Jōmon Archaeology is a municipal museum located in the city of Chino, Nagano prefecture, in the foothills of Yatsugatake mountains (2,899 m) on the east on the border with Yamanashi prefecture. The Yatsugatake Mountains 八ヶ岳連峰 are a volcanic mountain range. Thousands of Jomon people lived in these highland areas around 5,000 years ago. In this area of rich deposits, they mined obsidian for making sharp tools, and they traded and prospered. 

This museum specializes in artifacts of the Jōmon period found at nearby sites. Amongst its holdings are the famed Jomon Venus (middle Jomon ca. 3,000–2,000 BCE) and the Masked Goddess (late Jomon 2,000 BCE) doki (clay) figures. There is a multitude of vases and other artifacts, as well as a mineral collection. It is adjacent to the Togariishi (togari-ishi, pointed rock) archaeological site where you can see reconstructed Jomon houses. While it seems out of place in the woods, it is an impressive modern museum. It is not far from Suwa Taisha’s Maemiya.

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Power Places and the Kanayama Megaliths

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Megaliths as Power Places

Earth and Celestial Energies.  Humans have long held a deep relationship with Earth and its energies. Even as hunter-gatherers, early man knew places of power as sacred places. They gathered at these sites to honor and venerate life-giving energies of Earth and Sky.

People became aware of fluctuations of these terrestrial energies, and they realized that these earth cycles were related to celestial cycles, the movements of Sun, Moon, and stars in our sky. They knew how to live in harmony with these energies.

Megaliths.  Soon, humans learned that these energies could benefit the health and welfare of people and society, that these energies were associated with naturally occuring megaliths. They learned, as they settled down and began cultivating crops, how to improve their lives. At first, they utilized megaliths to mark significant places. Then they assembled them into megalithic structures, often moving huge boulders from far away, to these special sites — how we do not know. Thus, energies were enhanced. Energies could be redirected to areas where needed, for example, to their crop fields. Megalithic structures could be erected to tamp excessive earth energies such as those due to earthquakes.

As modern research technologies have advanced, and our minds have been opened to new ways of viewing early societies, we have come to better understand early man. These megalithic places served multiple purposes, the least and the last of which was to serve as cemeteries. Through more accurate dating of materials, we know that the structures were built in the 4,000 BCE time-frame, that they were later and only occasionally re-purposed as burial sites.

Purposes of megaliths.  As mentioned, megalithic sites served to mark sacred places; they were developed to manage earth and celestial energies to benefit society. And, finally, megalithic structures were designed and built and operated to serve as observatories. They could then provide accurate data for calendars and for predicting future celestial phenomena, to know when there would be significant changes in energy.

Each of these megalithic observatories investigated the celestial body pertinent to that particular site. Although these observatories were a late development, there are not so many that are known to us today. 

In summary, let’s list the purposes of megaliths and megalithic structures, in roughly chronological order.

+ Identify locations of sacred sites,

+ Hold sacred ceremonies to venerate life-giving force of Universe,

+ Control and manage energies for beneficial purposes,

+ Learn periodic fluctuations of celestial energies affecting earth energies,

+ Observe celestial phenomena in specially-built observatories to determine more exactly the timing of special energies,

+ Determine an accurate calendar of the year/years.

Kanayama Megalithic Observatory

Deep in a mountain forest on the main island of the Japanese archipelago lies a megalithic solar observatory. This site has recently come to the attention of those outside of Japan as the source of a super-accurate solar calendar. This calendar of the tropical year is based on sunlight observation and is 15 times more accurate than our modern calendar. The megaliths were shaped and assembled more than 5,000 years ago. We know, because later humans deposited ashes that have so been dated.

Japanese news media have termed this solar observatory a “power spot”. People have been coming from near and far to experience this remarkable achievement from long ago. They are amazed at the ancient people’s knowledge of astronomy, of their skill in shaping 100-ton and 200-ton blocks of stone, of moving them with precision into desired — and well-planned — configurations. These configurations enable a human observer to accurately track sunbeams and their patterns over the course of the year. at special times, special phenomena are observed. These times of observation determine the solar calendar.

This sun-tracking station is situated amidst tall trees in the mountains near a rushing river. To track the sun would have been simpler if the site were on a flat plain as in most other calendrical observatories. However, the site was cleverly chosen so that it could operate in winter as well as in summer, throughout the entire tropical year.

What’s also remarkable is that two non-specialist researchers have, in less than 20 years, decoded the purpose of this megalithic site. Actually, it is a system of three sites which cooperate to produce all the needed observations, and more. These modern researchers in fact have accomplished their own feat of reverse engineering. They have deduced, from what they themselves have observed, what the original purpose of each megalithic solar event was, and the functions of each megalithic structure.

And to top it off, they are able to explain to the large tour groups how it all works, in language that is simple and direct, uncluttered by scientific jargon. They have already published a fully-illustrated guidebook to the site and have a more technical bi-lingual book in preparation.

The Kanayama Megaliths are a living example of an ancient scientific system. To young children and adults alike it teaches basic astronomy ‘in the field’ so that everyone can experience being a sun tracker in megalithic times.

Concluding Remarks

Megaliths are found all over the globe. They are well-known in Europe, less evident in the Far East. This post was inspired by the article of Martin Gray  about megaliths of Europe. We then related it to our own research at Kanayama Megaliths.  Photo of a tour group at Kanayama Megaliths by Okunomichi.

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Yamanomoya – Mountains and Shrines of Mystery

As part of the research program on Ancient Japan, Okunomichi has paid a lot of attention to the jinja shrines and their kami that played a role in Hinomoto which led to modern Japan. Many shrines have been mentioned in ancient texts and by other researchers. For that reason, Okunomichi has been actually going to the mountains and visiting these historical jinja.

Now, Okunomichi is moving its posts on jinja and pyramid mountains to https://yamanomiya.wordpress.com/. So we would like to introduce you to Yamanomiya.

Jinja

The shrines described by Yamanomiya are connected historically to ancient documents in the Woshite literature (namely, the Hotsuma Tsutae). And to the kami that are prominent in that literature: Toyoke/Toyouke O-kami, Isanami-O-kami, Isanagi O-kami, Amateru-kami, Seoritsuhime, Shirayamahime, and others.

At Yamanomiya, there are a series of posts on the Moto-Ise shrines. These are the shrines where the kami of the current Ise Jingu Naiku and Geku — Amateru and Toyouke, respectively — were honored that were located, in Tamba no Kuni (in current Kyoto-fu), previous to Ise in the Kii peninsula. Legend says that it was Yamatohime who traveled from place to place until finally settling the enshrinements of Amateru Amakami and his grandfather Toyoke-Okami in Ise. This was long before the Ise shrines were adopted by the Imperial Family, even before there was even such a family.

Pyramid mountains

Yamanomiya also reports on the many pyramid mountains in Japan. In particular, you will find lists of pyramid mountains claimed by researchers Sakai, Kosaka, and Suzuki, Pyramid mountains were built thousands of years ago out of natural hills by human hands. They were made for ritual and societal purposes. They were usually flattened on top so that sacred ceremonies could be held, and today there are still shrines there.

Pyramids stabilized the land during earthquakes. They sent energy down to the land below to improve the productivity of farming. Pyramids and shrines were situated in very special geometrical and astronomical layouts. Frequently the lines connecting them pointed to the summer or winter solstice sunrises and sunsets.

And of course, the mountains of interest are considered especially sacred to kami, whether they are man-made or natural.

Let’s explore mountains and shrines with Yamanomiya!

 

 

The Super-Science of Katakamuna, by K. Fukano – 1.

KatakamunaCover

In an earlier post entitled, KATAKAMUNA ANCIENT CIVILIZATION, we mentioned a book written by Fukano:

Fukano Kazuyuki, 超科学書「カタカムナ」の謎, Chogakusho Katakamuna no Nazo, Super-Science Katakamuna Mystery, Kosaido Books, 1993

We have been studying the book and we present this summary of the main points of the super-physics as we understand them. While most of us think of Katakamuna as an ancient writing system of Hinomoto, author Fukano has interpreted the verses as descriptions of the physics of Universe. What is remarkable is that such an old physics could be so like modern physics. Put another way, our modern physics may be approaching what was known to ancient people! Indeed, Katakamuna’s Latent and Physical Worlds may correspond to David Bohm’s Implicate and Explicate Orders

Katakamuna Universe

What is Katakamuna? Katakamuna is the root of all in Universe. Ama is Universe and includes Time, Space, and Everything. The Space aspect of Universe is Ame. Time and Space together are Ma. Mari is the fundamental quantum which is always spinning ‘up’ and ‘down’ and orbiting around Ma. Through the movement of Mari, Amashigenryou is possible and it, itself, is revolving and condensing. Thus Amashigenryou creates the two aspects of Universe: Kamuna, The Latent World, and then Amana, the Phenomenal World. The Phenomenal World is created through the combined energies of Kamuna and Amana. Kamu is infinite energy of Universe.

Amashigenryou is the fundamental building block of Universe created by the motion of Mari. Mari are quanta of the ultimate differentiated “particles” and their movement creates all the quanta of Amashigenryou as well as the Latent World and the Physical World.

Kamuna and Amana Worlds

Worlds

Kamuna     Amana

Latent     Physical

Unseen     Seen

Infinite     Limited

Hidden     Present

Kamuna is the Latent World. We may call it the Unseen World, Infinite World, Hidden World. It is the world of pure nonphysical energy. Kamuna is mugen-sekai, Infinite world. 無限 mugen, limitless.

Amana is the world we know as the Physical World. Also it may be called the Seen World, Limited World, Present World, Phenomenal World. It is our familiar world of matter. Amana is gensho-sekai, Phenomenal World, the world we live in. 現象 gensho, phenomenal. 現 gen, present; sho, vision.

Note that author Fukano calls Kamuna and Amana “worlds.” Perhaps we can think of them as dimensions, or as Bohm’s orders. Amana comes from Kamuna. The Physical World comes from the Latent/Hidden World. The integrated chikara power of both creates Universe.

Kamuna Amana

Kamuna giving rise to Amana

Amashigenryou アマ 始 元 量

Amashigenryou is the elementary quantum of Universe, the spiraling of the microscopic particles of Universe. Everything is a converted version of Amashigenryou.  アマama; 始 shi, beginning; 元 gen, origin; 量 ryou, quantum

Amashigenryou always keeps revolving and rotating, repeating, overlapping, condensing, creating first Kamuna and then Amana. Then the chikara powers of Kamuna and Amana combine. The combined power creates  ryushi’, seen particles, which are the ‘gensho’ phenomenal particles, and stabilizes the Seen World. The Seen World then has matter, substance, seimei living things and objects.

Kamu and Mari

Kamu is infinite energy. There is infinite energy Kamu in Universe. Universe is made of physical matter as well as the Latent, i.e., the physical and the nonphysical. Amashigenryou is generated in the world of Infinite Kamu, from ‘the infinite derivation of Mari.’

Mari. The ultimate differentiated quantum of Universe is called Mari. It is the source of Amashigenryou and other quanta. Mari is a spherical particle. The size of Mari is in the order of 10^-80 cm. Mari is not a perfect sphere; it has a dent in its surface. Without this dent, rotation around an axis would not be possible. Mari simultaneously rotates clockwise and counter-clockwise, creating yin-yang polarities. 

Latent World

In the Latent World, Mari マリ are quanta of the itsu-tsumi (5 tsumi) : toki, tokoro, ikatsumi, makumi, karami.

toki is quantum of time

tokoro is quantum of place

ikatsumi is quantum of electricity

makumi is quantum of magnetism

karami is quantum of gravity

The mari of ‘toki’ is Amashigenryou, the quantum of time in the Latent World. The mari of ‘tokoro’ is  アメAme, the quantum of space in the Latent World. 

The last three tsumi (the quanta of electricity, magnetism, and gravity) are together called mitsugo in the Latent World. They create the living and non-living ‘mokoro’ with forces of electricity, magnetism, and gravity.

Mokoro in the Latent World consist of one each of the three mitsugo forces. The ‘object mokoro’ of nonliving things is a mitsugo with one axis that is repeatedly living and dying. The ‘seimei mokoro’ of living things has eight axes, instead of only one. All eight axes are living and dying repeatedly and all eight are rotating.

Physical World

The Physical World of Time, Space, and Everything is derived from, or created by, the Latent World through the action of the Mari.

Mari of ‘toki’ makes Time.

Mari of ‘tokoro’ makes Space.

The other Mari together make Everything: the living and nonliving things of the Physical  World.

Editor’s Note:  The details in this last part about the relationships between Latent and Physical Worlds come from the small table, very near the end, on page 225 of the book, while the beginning of this post comes from an earlier part of the book. We wish to express our appreciation to E.K. for assistance with the difficult translation. 

Concluding Remarks

The physics of Fukano is not easy to understand, and we do not claim to have interpreted it correctly. However, we feel it is important to call it to your attention so that you can delve more deeply into its study. We continue with Parts 2 and 3.

Revised 2017.04.12

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Egyptian Calendar Basics

The year of the astronomical Egyptian Calendar began on the summer solstice, SS, when the Nile flooded. This system is thought to have begun ~ 3000 BCE (2750 BCE). The solar calendar was not modified by leap years so that it gradually shifted away from the New Year Day being on the SS day. The period of this cycle is ~1500 of our years, when New Year once again began on SS. It is highly likely that the Egyptians, being fully aware of this drift, deliberately used it for a higher order calendar cycle. For example, by the time of Khufu of the Fourth Dynasty, the New Year Day was already between the SS and the spring equinox.

The estimated date of the  start of the calendar is based on the heliacal rising of Sirius on the SS. In other words, when both the Sun and Sirius rose in the eastern sky, and which signaled the beginning of the flood season. After a drift of about 1500 years, on about 1500 BCE (1250 BCE), the New Year would again fall on the SS. This did happen at the time of Ramses II.

Sidereal Calendar

Although the Egyptian religion venerated the Sun, the astronomers were keenly interested in the rising of stars, thus they had a sidereal calendar. In particular, they watched for the heliacal rising of the Orion constellation which symbolized Osiris, and for the star Sirius (Sothis in Greek) which represented Osiris’ consort Isis. The star knowledge of Egypt may have come from Babylonia. In any case, the sidereal calendar was based on the heliacal rising of Sirius/Sothis.

The ritual calendar of the astronomer-priests was thus the Sothic or Sidereal year of 366 risings of Sirius. On the other hand, the agricultural solar calendar of the farmers was attuned to the summer solstice when the Nile flooded its banks and planting could begin.

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Note:  The above chart is from Belmonte,  http://www.iac.es/proyecto/arqueoastronomia/pages/project-overview/highlights-hitos/egyptian-calendar.php

Labels in red have been added to indicate the times of Khufu (IV Dynasty), V Dynasty, Middle Kingdom, and Ramses II.

Egypt Code by Robert Bauval, 2010, provides further information about the Egyptian calendar, in particular the sidereal calendar.

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Togariyama 尖山 Pyramid Mountain

Toyama MapThis is one of a series of posts about pyramid mountains. Pyramid mountains are man-made mountains, or human-modified natural mountains. They have been modified or created for the purposes of benefit to human society and/or ritual reasons. They usually have flat tops for the holding of rituals and may have directional alignments with other sacred places or with seasonal solar sunrises and sunsets.

Togariyama.  尖山 ‘Togari’ means pointed. Togari is popularly pronounced Tongari. This mountain is in Toyama-ken. It has a steeply triangular profile but it has a flat top. We got to its foot and parked the car at the beginning of the trail. The mountain can be climbed in an hour, but we did not have the time for that.

Torii Rei, in his kami-gami book page 123, shows this map centered on Togariyama. The map says that the grave of Ninigi no Mikoto is here. Flowing into Toyama Bay is the Jinsu River from Gifu-ken. To its east is the Joganji River which flows near Togariyama.

Due east of Tongariyama is the very sacred Tateyama. It lies near the Nagano-ken border. Oyama Jinja is the shrine that venerates Tateyama. There are three shrine locations: the honsha at the peak, one shrine midway down, and a third shrine on the plains. It was the last which we stopped at to pay our respects to both mountains. Although this shrine is modest and charming, this site has been favored with visits from imperial personages over the centuries.

togariyamaHere is a photo of Tongariyama from http://web-fron.sakura.ne.jp/p/toyama/togariyama/index.html. The other photo is Mt. Tateyama (from a postcard).   Tateyama_0004

This post is related to the pyramid mountains listed at Iwaya-Iwakage,

Hida Koku 6. Jomon Pyramids and Rituals

 

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