Category Archives: Rokkosan

Rokkosan:  Mukoyama and Mukatsuhime

The modern city of Kobe lies between the Rokkosan 六甲山 mountains and the sea. In a previous post, we wrote about the megaliths of Rokkosan. These mountains are the locale of a fascinating story with both historical and linguistic interest.

Hotsuma History.  During the times of Amateru Amakami in the Hotsuma Tsutae document, the mountains were known as Mukoyama, and the peak as Mukatsu-mine. The land of Muko was the domain of the Kanasaki family. When Isanami and Isanagi were unable to keep their first-born daughter Hiruko, they sent her to Kanasaki for fostering. There, Hiruko was lovingly raised and taught the art of waka poetry. Hiruko became so skilled with the kototama word power of waka that she became known as Wakahime. The area of Muko is called Hirota, perhaps because of her fostering. For his kindness, Kanasaki is known as Sumiyoshi Kami.

Wakahime was the elder sister of Amateru. Amateru led his people for many long years. When he felt his life’s end nearing, he sent his beloved wife Seoritsuhime to Hirota. There, she peacefully passed her remaining years in these mountains until “her spirit ascended.”

Linguistic Changes.  Seoritsuhime is Mukatsuhime. The latter name appears in several places. In the Takenouchi Documents, it is アマサカリ ヒニ ムカイツ ヒメ ノミヒカリ アマツ ヒツギ アメノ スメラミコトAmasakari hini mukaitsu hime no mihikari amatsu hitsugi ame no sumera mikoto. The principal deity of Hirota Jinja is the aramitama wrathful spirit of Amateru Ookami, named ツキサカキ イツノ ミタマ アマサカル ムカツヒメ ノ ミコトTsukisakaki-itsuno mitama amasakaru mukatsuhime no mikoto.

How did Mukoyama change its name to Rokkosan? Please keep in mind that Woshite, the language of Hotsuma, was syllabic when spoken and when written in Woshite moji characters. Much later, Woshite writing fell out of use and was replaced by the kanji imported from China. The name Mukoyama 六甲山 when written in kanji  can be read, Sino-wise, as Rokkosan.

Jinja Shrines.  These shrines all have Mukatsuhime as their enshrined kami.

Hirota Jinja 広田神社 is located in Nishinomiya adjacent to Kobe. hirota-jinja_nishinomiya05n3200While it enshrines the aramitama of Amateru-kami, Mukatsuhime, it also honors Sumiyoshi-kami whom we know as Kanasaki.

Rokkohime Jinja 六甲比命神社 = Mukatsuhime Jinja.  This shrine is on the mountain. Its deity is Benzaiten. [Wikipedia: Benzaiten is the goddess of everything that flows: water, time, words, speech, eloquence, music and by extension, knowledge.]  Many believe that she is a later Buddhist version of Mukatsuhime.

Mukatsu Jinja (Ishi-no-houden) is a sessha sub-shrine of Hirota Jinja so that naturally, its gosaishin is Mukatsuhime.

Mukoyama Jinja 六甲山神社 is also a sessha with gosaishin Mukatsuhime.

mukoyamajinja

Rokkohime Daizen Jinja 六甲比命大善神社 (ろっこうひめだいぜんじんじゃ) = Mukohime Jinja 六甲比女(むこひめ)神社. Benzaiten is worshipped there. There is a huge iwakura goshintai on which is carved the Buddhist Heart Sutra. Some say that Mukatsuhime’s tomb is here, and the Sutra is in her memory. This shrine is the okunoin of Tamonji Temple in Kobe which forms a line  between the temple and the shrine to the summer solstice setting sun.

%e5%85%ad%e7%94%b2%e5%b1%b1_%e5%bf%83%e7%b5%8c%e5%b2%a9

Photos are from Japanese Wikipedia.

Sources include

http://mysteryspot.main.jp/mysteryspot/rotukou3/rotukou3.htm

*

Advertisements

The Megaliths of Rokkosan: Koshiki-Iwa Jinja

Rokkosan is a fascinating mountain range in Hyogo-ken. It forms the mountains that are the backdrop to the port city of Kobe. As we wrote elsewhere, one of the shrines (Ikuta Jinja) on the mountain faces the port and has served as a lighthouse for ships at sea. The buildings of Kobe look new, and perhaps they are newly built, after the disastrous Kobe Hanshin earthquake of 1995. Prior to that, the city suffered greatly from American firebombing in 1945. Now the city is quite prosperous as a center of business activity. The cable car takes skiers and nature lovers up to the peak for a fine view of the city below. Many young and not-so-young regularly walk these hiker-friendly mountains. And yet, Rokkosan keeps its mystique.

There are many important shrines in the Kobe area. In fact, one of them, gave its name to the city. Kobe comes from Kambe, people appointed by the Emperor to maintain the shrine, and it means “Door to the Kami”.

Rokkosan has since prehistoric days been regarded as sacred. Megaliths of different types are found in those mountains, and some have clearly been worked by human hands. Standing stones in the mountains were the first shrines created by man. Archaeologists have found artifacts supporting ceremonies held on sacred grounds from long ago.

We present our photos of megaliths at different locations of Rokkosan. Here, we showcase the megaliths of Koshiki-iwa Jinja.

Koshiki-iwa Megalith Monument of Wakahime Shrine

This is the megalithic monument towering over the Wakahima hokora. See that post. These are photos of the front, side and back. Note how beautifully the arcs of the two stones fit.

DSC01600 DSC01602 DSC01608 DSC01609 DSC01611

 

 

 

 

DSC01616

 

 

DSC01631

Other megaliths on the grounds include a grouping with a small passageway. The compass (red arrow points north) indicates that the alignment of the passageway is toward the west, probably sunset of the equinoxes.

DSC01632 DSC01634

 

 

 

 

Another east-west alignment passageway, and other megaliths.

DSC01643 DSC01645 DSC01648 DSC01651