Category Archives: Seoritsuhime

Seoritsuhime and Sakunado Jinja


Sakunado Jinja, 2018.10

Lake Biwa

Sakunado Jinja 佐久奈度神社 is an integral part of the Lake Biwa river system of Shiga Prefecture. Biwako, as the lake is called, is the largest lake in all Japan. The lake was called Awaumi in olden times, and gradually the pronunciation changed so that the area around the lake is called Ōmi. The area has been occupied since at least the Initial Jōmon period (~9300 years ago). Biwako has only one major outlet, the Setagawa  瀬田川, which becomes the Uji 宇治川 downstream, then the Yodo 淀川, before it flows into the Seto Inland Sea at Osaka.

Sakunado Jinja  佐久奈度神社



Sakunado Jinja overlooks the Setagawa. It is the shrine that ‘oversees’ the river system. The enshrined kami are the four haraedo purification kami, the first and foremost of them being Seoritsuhime 瀬織津姫. Note that the first syllable, the first character, in the name of Seoritsuhime and of Setagawa is Se, which means swift current. 

Setagawa River



The view of the Setagawa from Sakunado Jinja looks peaceful. However, just upstream to the right (the east) of this spot is the treacherous bend with its strong undertow. Many young people have lost their lives playing here.


Sakunado Jinja is at the bottom of this map, where the Setagawa turns west. Note that the Setagawa drains southward out of Lake Biwa near Ishiyama. Downstream from the Sakunado, the river’s name changes to Ujigawa, Uji River, as it flows into Kyoto. The Uji merges with two other rivers, the Katsura–gawa and the Kizugawa in Kyoto Prefecture. The Katsura has its headwaters in the mountains of Kyoto Prefecture, while the Kizu comes from Mie Prefecture. Starting from the confluence of these three rivers, the main river becomes the Yodo River. It flows south, through the city of Osaka, into Osaka Bay. The length of the river is 75 km (47 mi). 

Oharai Norito

This is the shrine of the Nakatomi Ōharai no Norito purification invocation to Seoritsuhime Kami.

Jinja Home Page 

Sakunado Jinja  佐久奈度神社





Kitakami River and Its Source


Yamanomiya, Mountain Shrines of Mystery, has posted an article on the Kitakami River and its source, the Yuhazu spring in Iwate. The Yuhazu spring is on the grounds of the Mido Kannon Temple. This modest spring is said to be the source of the mightiest river in Tohoku.

Seoritsuhime Shrines in Iwate

DSC03592 Fudo no TakiYamanomiya: Mountain Shrines of Mystery has posted a series of articles of shrines in Iwate Prefecture that enshrine the kami Seoritsuhime. She is the spirit of waterfalls and rapids, of purification and water in all its aspects.

Seoritsuhime was a kami who lived in Omi on the shore of Biwako, around 3,000 years ago, as documented in the Hotsuma Tsutae. Because she was an indigenous leader, the later continentals wished to erase her memory. They succeeded in reducing the number of her shrines from the thousands to a mere 450. See also the series of articles by Woshite World on why and how Wosite, the indigenous language, was erased as well.

Iwate Prefecture, with 36, has the most Seoritsuhime shrines. Yamanomiya visited and reported on seven of them.





Wosite was deliberately erased

Mikasafumi Namekoto no aya

Wosite is a writing system that was in use from 6,000 to 1,000 years ago. It is best known for the legacy document, Hotsuma Tsutae. Only three documents written in the Wosite days are extant today. They are the Hotsuma Tsutae, the Mikasafumi, and the Futomani.

Why are there no other Wosite documents? Why is Wosite writing virtually unknown today? If Wosite were known, then wouldn’t our conceptions about the writing of Ancient Japan change drastically?

WoshiteWorld has just published a series of four articles on the intentional elimination of Wosite as a writing system. Wosite  literature and history and philosophy were also eradicated. As we read these articles, we also learn why Amaterasu Omikami is a female “sun goddess” rather than the male Amateru. And how his beloved and trusted consort Seoritsuhime Mukatsuhime has all but disappeared from history. It is a shame when the contributions of important people are hidden. For political reasons.

The first post is here,

‘The point is, we must read the history written in Wosite, the prohibited books, and gradually realize the truth, and do it thoroughly.’



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.


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.


Photos are from Japanese Wikipedia.

Sources include


Takinomiya, Shrine of the Waterfall

The famous Tetsugaku-no-michi, Philosopher’s Path, is less well-traversed at its southern end, although even further south are the well-known Eikando and Nanzenji Temples. Glimpses of these temples were seen in the previous post, Higashiyama. This time we explore two shrines, the Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja and the Takinomiya.

Southern end of Tetsugaku-no-michi

Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja

This is one of three Kumano shrines in Kyoto. This shrine, established in 1160 by Emperor Go-Shirakawa, is the guardian of the Nyakuoji mountain area. It is also the guardian shrine of Zenrin-ji in the nearby Eikando Temple. It’s woodsy here, and the grounds are known for sakura in spring and colors in autumn.

dsc02697-nyakuoji-jinjaThis is the front entrance to the Kumano Nyakuoji Jinja. The back exit opens onto a road going up the mountain, past some homes, and takes you to the beginning of a kaidan flight of stairs to the torii of Takinomiya.


At the top of the kaidan is a flat area with  hokora small shrines nestled under the trees.

There’s another kaidan, leading to a higher level. This one ends at a red torii which is in front of the Takinomiya shrine. This is a shrine to taki, waterfalls. Here, surrounded by nature, it feels pretty removed from busy Kyoto. As we pray before this shrine, we hear the sound of waterfalls. Walking to our right, we peer over the edge and glimpse a waterfall and a red shrine below.


We retrace our steps to the bottom of the two kaidans and follow the sound of water. There is still another shrine. We feel the magic of Seoritsuhime, guardian of waterfalls, and we linger for a while. Finally with a sigh, we head out to join the Tetsugaku-no-michi.