“Kototama no michi is explained in super-ancient history of Biwako’s esoteric doctrine. Dr. Agō accomplished this momentous research in a lifetime career as pioneering director of the Biwako Research Center. “
These statements were retrieved in November 2013 from the website of the Biwako Research Center. The website is no longer online. Biwako, largest lake in Japan, lies in the center of Shiga Prefecture. It is of particular interest to students of Wosite as the Naka-Kuni Central Land of Isanami and Isanagi. Biwako is also of historical interest to geologists, biologists, archaeologists, and anthropologists as a region rich in human and natural activity from ancient times.
Agō Kiyohiko, former electrical engineer who spent his long retirement years studying ancient matters such as Wosite, made the following remarks about Kototama on this website.
“Kototama is the recognized spiritual function of Japan’s ancient language.”
Ota Jinja is one of the Hiyoshi shrines in the Yorogi area. It is a simple shrine with just one building. The grounds are next to a rice field, newly planted and still flooded in late May.
In the precinct, one closed house with a main hall and two stone lanterns.
Enshrined kami are 太田神 Ota Kami and 宇須賣命 Ame-no-Uzume. A theory says Sarutahiko is also enshrined here. 元は、新宮とも呼ばれた神社で、現在、青柳にある日吉神社の飛地境内社で、社地を太田の馬場ともいい、式内・大田神社の論社。Before, the jinja was called 新宮 Shingu, now it is a detached shrine of 日吉神社 Hiyoshi Jinja in Aoyagi.
How touching it is to find it on a rise, tucked in between rice fields. It still retains some of the forest of trees. Somehow it seems “brave” to have withstood the storms of time for more than two thousand years. And also it’s sad that so little of Kusihiko’s forest remains.
Gosaishin: 子守神 Komori 勝手神 Katsute Kami. Komori is son of Kusihiko and the third Omononusi. Affectionately called Komori-san, he is the kami of looking after children (komori). It is said that he had 18 daughters and 18 sons.
Yorogi Jinja is one of the detached shrines of Hiyoshi Jinja. You can see the trees surrounding Hiyoshi Jinja in the left background of the photo above.
Our series on Yorogi shrines continues. Hiyoshi is another name for Hie, as in the nearby Hie Taisha and Mt Hie-zan. When searching for Yorogi forest, we found two Hiyoshi Jinja. Let’s call them Hiyoshi Jinja A and B.
Hiyoshi Jinja A
This Hiyoshi Jinja enshrines Ninigi no Mikoto. There are several sha on the shrine precinct. There is a sacred spot marked as the original site for Ise Jingu, and there is a small mound of sand.
Hiyoshi Jinja B(Nishi-Yurugi Hiyoshi Jinja)
This Hiyoshi Jinja is affiliated with Yorogi Jinja, as this signboard explains. This Hiyoshi Jinja has a main shrine with the three kami: Ayakashikone no Kami, Ichikishimahime no Mikoto, and Tachibanahime no Mikoto. This shrine is known as 西万木日吉神社（にしゆるぎひよしじんじゃ）Nishi-Yurugi Hiyoshi Jinja.
Three other shrines located on these premises are: Akiba Jinja, Tenmon Jinja, and Inari Jinja. Off-premise affiliated shrines are: Ota Jinja, Yorogi Jinja, and Hachiman Jinja. We would next visit Ota and Yorogi Jinja.
Kusihiko was an important advisor to Amateru Amakami. As the eldest son of Ohnamuchi, he helped with the unification of Ohnamuchi’s land of Izumo. His service earned him various titles, among them Kotoshironushi and later he became known as Ebisu, the laughing kami. Kusihiko was granted land in the Takashima area of Awaumi (Omi) which is present-day Shiga-ken. Upon this land, he planted thousands of medicinal plants and trees. He called it Yorogi (Yoroki), where yoro means ten thousand and ki means trees.
Yorogi is also pronounced Yurugi, and there is a place called Nishi-Yurugi in Takashima County. Some people remember when Higashi and Nishi-Yurugi were a vast forest. Higashi-Yurugi is now Aoyagi, and Nishi-Yurugi is Adogawa. We went to Adogawa in search of Kusihiko’s Yorogi forest.
And it was some search! We first inquired at the tourist information office at the Adogawa michinoeki. We were given a map of the local area and vague information about nearby shrines. We began walking in the general direction but we were not sure where we were going. We almost stumbled onto a shrine called the Imamiya. This was not the Yorogi Jinja we sought. We would have to rely on a knowledgeable taxi driver. Fortunately the driver who turned up knew all about shrines.
We found five shrine sites in the immediate area, and one of them is still called Yorogi Jinja. We report our findings in three reports:
Hiyoshi Jinja (2)
Yorogi Jinja and Ota Jinja
The enshrined kami of Imamiya Jinja is Ōyamakui no Mikoto. Genbu says: 大山咋神は大年神の御子神, Ōyamakui Kami is Ōtoshi Kami’s son。Ōyamakui is the kami of Mount Hie in Shiga prefecture. This deity is commonly known as Hie-no-kami. Imamiya is associated with the Hiyoshi Jinja group.
Lake Suwa (諏訪湖 Suwa-ko) is the largest lake in Shinano. It is fed by the small rivers of the Kiso Mountains. Lake Suwa is the primary source of the Tenryu River. The Tenryū River (天竜川 Tenryū-gawa) has a length of 213 km; it is the ninth longest river in Japan. The Tenryu flows through Aichi and Shizuoka prefectures.
“According to Shinto legend, the male god Takeminakata would cross the lake to visit the female god Yasakatome at her shrine on the other side. The crossing was evidenced by the god’s footsteps on the ice that left a sinusoidal ice ridge, known as the omiwatari in Japanese.” [From National Geographic]
We stayed at the Saginoyu Hotel on the road around the lake (sagi, heron; yu, hot bath). The water of the onsen hot spring was the color of coffee. There were ashi reeds growing at Suwa lakeside. We wonder if these are similar to the ashi of Lake Biwa which are the namesake of Ashihara no Nakatsukuni, the so-called Central Land of the Reed Plains. We will explain this in relation to the Naka-Kuni of Isanami and Isanagi at Oumi Lake Biwa in the Wosite documents.
The Yatsugatake 南八ヶ岳 mountain range extends for 30 km north to south on the east side of Lake Suwa. We found the following story here.
The following story is in ancient mythology. Yatsugatake compared heights with Mount Fuji. And Yatsgatake won. But Mount Fuji gave a kick at him. Then Yatsugatake had broken into many mountains. So Mount Fuji became the highest mountain. Yatsugatake’s sister, Mount Tateshina (the northernmost peak, 2,530 m), wept at his broken figure. And her tears created Lake Suwa.
Kototama, which is written in kanji as 言霊, is the study and practice of the energy/power in words and speech. Kototama can be translated as “the spirit of words,” and as “the language of Spirit.” Kototama refers to the power of human words to create, to create things. Okunomichi has several posts on this topic and they can be found by using the Search box to the right and entering “Kototama”.
Ōharano Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Nishikyō-ku, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Ōharano is dedicated to Amenokoyane, who composed the Mikasahumi document in Wosite.
Amenokoyane was a great-great-grandson of Toyoke Kami. He was named the first Kagami Tomi by Amateru Amakami. His responsibility was to discern light (ka) from dark (ga) and to keep society on the Amenaru Path. Amenokoyane received the honor name, Kasuga Kami. He was buried at the ancient Hiraoka Jinja in Osaka. Later in 768, he was enshrined at the Kasuga Taisha in Heijō-kyo (Nara) by his descendants, the Fujiwara. The capital was at Heijō-kyo from 710–40 and from 745–84.
Emperor Kanmu transfered the capital from Heijō-kyo to Nagaoka-kyo (784-794). Nagaoka-kyo was located in the current Mukō City and Nishikyō-ku which is part of Kyoto City. Kanmu enshrined Kasuga Myojin here at Ōharano Jinja. The main shrine building was constructed in the year 850 in the style of the Kasuga Taisha. There are four handsome honden behind the haiden prayer hall. We can only see the tips of two sets of chigi. The four enshrined kami are (1) Takemikazuchi, (2) Futsunushi, (3) Amenokoyane (Kasuga Kami) and (4) his wife, Hime Kasuga.
The Koisawa-ike Pond was built as a facsimile of the Kasuga Taisha’s Sarusawa-ike. It is a famous spot for viewing colored leaves. Overlooking the pond is Wakamiya auxiliary shrine which honors Ameno-oshi-kumone-no-mikoto, son of Amenokoyane.
Ōharano Jinja is a lovely spot for autumn colors and for feeling a connection with the spirit of the wise Amenokoyane.