Category Archives: Woshite

True Nature of Reality

Milky Way over Rocky Mountains photo by Jeremy Thomas (click to enlarge)

Preface

It has been a while since Okunomichi last posted. We have been caught up in an outpouring of awakening energies that we had to pause and assimilate before we could communicate with you. We are expanding our field of attention to toward cosmic consciousness and exploring the true nature of reality. We are integrating wisdom of the past with the existential crisis of today as we look toward the future. The keywords of our categories and tags are more inclusive of the spiritual integrated with today’s emerging physical science — which is moving toward the spiritual. Soon, we may return to no separation between physical and spiritual science. Nor is there really any separation between our physical and spiritual natures.

True Nature of Reality

What is the true nature of reality? I have always wanted to know. That’s why I academically studied physics and astrophysics, and researched and published peer-reviewed papers. I could not get a handle on infinity nor on eternity. The answer to the true nature of reality does not lie in the physical world.

Consciousness

I discovered consciousness. Of course, we all know what we mean by ordinary consciousness as cognition and awareness. True consciousness is more than that. It is being aware of being aware. It is becoming aware that we are more than separate physical beings. We are also spiritual beings. We are the consciousness that connects us to the three-dimensional and higher dimensional worlds.

The Law of Unity

The world’s Ageless Wisdom traditions have always taught that We are All One in the Universe, with the Universe. There is a vibrating energy similar to the light we can see but of frequencies that we don’t sense with our physical senses. This light of consciousness is called Love, Unconditional Love, that unites All in the Universe.

The Ageless Wisdom

The Ageless Wisdom is also the Perennial Philosophy, the esoteric teachings that have been taught in mystery schools over the ages and all over the Earth. Teachers include Helena P. Bavatsky after her trip through the HImalayas, and Alice A. Bailey with ascended master Dwaj Kuhl in the 20th century, and many more in the 21st century. The Ageless Wisdom is truly ageless and perennial, for it is the secret teaching of the true nature of reality. Ageless Wisdom teaches that we are spiritual beings in physical bodies. We come from a non-physical dimension, and we are all connected through consciousness. Consciousness is the foundation of all in the universe.

The Ageless Wisdom has been a highly esoteric teaching, that is, it is not for the general public. However, It is now becoming more exoteric, out in the open as masses of people are becoming more spiritually aware. This is part of the movement of energy in our solar system and spiritual evolution in general.

Yellow Sky by Nicholas Roerich, 1874-1947

Wosite Wisdom

In the last dozen years, my focus has been in studying the ancient wisdom of the Jōmon period in Japan, called Wosite (Wo-si-te or Wo-shi-te). The indigenous people of the Japanese archipelago developed a unique high civilization in the span of 15,000 years after the end of the last Ice Age. The spoken and written Wosite language is based on fundamental creative energies. However, Wosite knowledge and wisdom went underground due to political changes beginning two thousand years ago. Wosite has been revived in the last six decades. I am the first American student of Japanese Wosite teachers. It is my sacred responsibility to share Wosite with the English-speaking world.

For Wosite is Ageless Wisdom.

Wosite Cosmology chart by Sakata Shoko

Gaia and a New Humanity

For a long period of time, we humans have dug ourselves deeply into exploring and exploiting the physical world. We have created a situation which is becoming more and more untenable, unsustainable, and unstable. It threatens the very existence of our Mother Planet and humanity. Gaia is the Greek goddess of Earth, viewed as the mother of all creation. The name Gaia was revived by James Lovelock (26 July 1919 – 26 July 2022) in his Gaia theory.

Prophets of old and new times have predicted an evolved humanity with higher consciousness. Gaia herself is evolving into a higher dimensional spiritual being. If we don’t evolve with her, we will be left behind.

Enlightened Beings in Japan

How did the world’s great civilizations pop out of the mundane? Enlightened beings, ascended masters, have incarnated on Earth to teach the Wisdom and to develop human society.

An enlightened being such as Sanat Kumara must have engendered the advanced civilization of Wosite. One such person mentioned in Wosite texts is a human Kami (a person with super-high consciousness) who organized the spoken and written Wosite language and taught skills and technologies to the indigenous people. He taught the cosmology of how life is created from energy. He attributed such deep knowledge to even earlier ancestors.

Sanat Kumara from Arcturus

Another ascended master to have been in ancient Japan of 10 million years ago is Sanat Kumara. Sanat Kumara is spoken of in ancient Vedic teachings and in more modern times by Blavatsky and Bailey and others. He has transmitted telepathic messages that he is originally from the system of the star Arcturus, and visited Mt. Kurama in northern Kyoto 10 million years ago. “Kura” in Arcturian means “portal” or “stargate.” Arcturus is a very bright star in the constellation Boötes. Sanat Kumara refers to himself as extra-galactic, for it is possible that Arcturus is astronomically from another galaxy. 

Mt. Kurama

I have visited sacred Mt. Kurama several times and I’ve noticed a shrine to Sanat Kumara. I long wondered what it was doing at Kurama Dera, a supposedly Japanese Buddhist temple. There are three statues in the hondo main temple. One of them is an unusual being who is said to have come from Venus six million years ago. Maōson may be a later interpretation of Sanat Kumara. When I asked the Abbess of Kurama Temple about Maōson, she explained that he is an energy being and further, that all in the Universe is energy. 

Maōson statue aka Sanat Kumara in Kurama Temple

Global Movement

There is an awakening movement around the world. More and more people are meditating, spreading Unconditional Love, and evolving human consciousness. Humanity is becoming increasingly Gaian, people who are One with our Earth Mother. Soon we will be full citizens of our Milky Way Galaxy and participate in the evolution of the galaxies in this Universe. 

True Nature of Reality

This is the true Nature of Reality: infinite and eternal. This is the Ageless Wisdom for us as we evolve our consciousness toward enlightenment.

Next: Starseed Messages

***

Tanabata Matsuri — A Star Festival of Ancient Hinomoto

In this post, we discuss the popular Tanabata Festival in terms of its origin.  This star festival of the Weaver was traditionally held on the seventh night of the seventh lunar month. It is held in July or August in modern times.

While many think erroneously that the Tanabata Festival is of Continental origin, this post by Julian Way shows that it was known in the ancient land of Hinomoto Japan long before Continental contact:

     “Tanahata is a festival already ancient in Hotsuma times.”

Tanahata is a loom for ori weaving.  Tanahata matsuri is indigenous to the early people of Japan and is described in the Wosite documents Mikasafumi and Hotsuma Tsutae. This passage is from the Mikasafumi document.

From Namekoto no Aya in Mikasafumi,  as presented in Julian-Way:

afumi matsu     /     fume ni yawashite

kaze to nasu     /     yumi hari ni umu

iu to asa     /     woto tanahata no

hoshi matsuri     /     mochi ha miwoya to

iki tama ni     /     yena no hasuke no

me-wo a-e ha     /     a-ogi odori te

i o ukuru

Mikasafumi Namekoto no aya

Afumi  is the 7th month of the luni-solar calendar of the old days. Fume ni yawashite, the heat of summer is softening.

Yumi-hari is the first quarter of the moon, the seventh day, so the night sky is dark and stars can be seen. At the end of the seven days, a ceremony is held. Cotton and asa (hemp) are spun in the ceremony called woto tanahata no hoshi matsuri.  [Hoshi matsuri, star festival, where hoshi means star and matsuri is translated festival, although it meant an observance in the olden days.]  This is the star festival of Tanahata.

From time immemorial, weaving was sacred work that has been entrusted to women. The ceremony of tanahata, too, was considered sacred.

The special Wosite letter  wo  seen in the third line of the verse has a vertical line indicating the unseen connection to the stars. Stars are honored as ancestors. The other  wo  in  me-wo  refers to male and  me  to female.

Amemiwoya and Universe

The origin of Universe can be understood through Amemiwoya as the Great Origin. Amemiwoya is the Cosmic Parent. Amemiwoya is like the pole star, and Kunitokotachi and the eight Kunisatsuchi sons are like the stars rotating around the pole star.

つまり機織りはアメノノリ(アメの法則)を目に見える形にするという、尊いお仕事なのですね。

In short, weaving is precious work that makes Ame-no-nori the Law of the Cosmos visible in form. So, both the order of the world and governing were taught by likening to hataori weaving with a loom.

Tanahata is a festival already ancient in Hotsuma times.

Odori, dance

なんと、(祖先を)仰ぎ、 踊って アメ のエネルギーを受ける・・・元気になる。

Our ancestors looked up, danced, and received the energy of Universe and  –good health.

縄文のころからの私達の伝統であったのです。

It was our tradition from Jomon times.

Long ago, when thinking of the beginning of the world and the beginning of people while looking up at the beautiful stars in the night sky, our hearts communed with our precious ancestors and started this ceremony dedicated to stars.

*

Image above: Woodblock print, Tanabata Matsuri in Edo by Hiroshige

Photo: Sky and Telescope

milky-way-great-rift_480x2741

Note added:  2022.06.16.  This post was prepared in 2017.06.08 and not published. Since Tanabata season is about to begin, we are publishing this post for all to learn about the origin of Tanabata and the Obon Odori in Jomon/Wosite times. For more about Wosite, please see our other site, WoshiteWorld.

*

Kototama by Wosite Wisdom Circle

From https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/2022/02/17/3165/

The three members of the Wosite Wisdom Circle associated with Woshite World and Wosite Wisdom made a presentation to a large viewer audience at the Nature Talks 2022 Conference held from February 9-13. Embodiment practices were shared, and a slideshow was presented by Okunomichi. You can find the slides and the script on Woshite World.

The blog posts on this Okunomichi site and on WoshiteWorld have been visited frequently by those seeking to learn more about Kototama. These two sites have a number of articles about Kototama which you can find by using the Search box. Some are from classical Japanese Kototama teachers. Others are uniquely the Kototama which the Wosite Wisdom Circle developed from our Japanese American viewpoint. Note that our American Kototama is distinctly different from both traditional and modern Japanese Kototama. It is meant for incorporating into our Western lives a path to realizing our true self, where we come from, why we are here.

***

Katakamuna, Ryutai, and Wosite Scripts

Introduction

Wosite is not the only script of ancient indigenous Japan. There were many others. Of all these scripts, Wosite is one of the oldest and the most “scientific.” By that, we mean that Wosite is systematic and logical, and its basis is a deep understanding of the principles of the universe and the physical laws by which it operates. This depth of concept that is encoded in the Wosite script is evidence of abstract thinking of early people. This may come as a surprise to many moderns who have assumed that we have only recently come to this level of thought and consciousness.

Popular Kamiyomoji Culture in Japan

There is currently a rather widespread interest in Japan of looking toward the past, to the Jōmon period, from the end of the last Ice Age to the turn of the Common Era.

This is true of anime and manga which depict mythological characters in fantasy. Where are the artists getting their inspiration from? There is also a “healing” and a “powerspot” boom for those seeking an improvement in their lives. Some of the “healing” is said to come from writing Kamiyomoji “divine characters” much as Buddhists meditate by copying sutras over and over. Kamiyomoji are scripts of indigenous Japan, long before Chinese writing was introduced. We have observed that some of those interests are connected with what we know about the Wosite civilization and culture. We students of Wosite can gain fuller understanding by taking a look at these peripheral subjects.

Katakamuna, Ryutai, and Wosite Scripts

Katakamuna verse

Some of the readers of our Okunomichi and WorshiteWorld blogs came to our sites to read about Katakamuna, so we know that people are searching on that keyword. Katakamuna is one of the ancient scripts and we have written on that subject, although there is a very limited amount of primary source material. Ryutai is another script which we will present in this article.

Ages of these scripts are hard to pinpoint. Followers of Ryutai claim that it is one of the oldest scripts at 5,600 years of age, which we will shortly explain. Katakamuna is difficult to date, but it is also very old. Wosite researchers such as Beace state that Wosite existed 6,000 to 8,000 years ago, 4,000 to 6,000 BCE. This would make Wosite older than Ryutai. And the Futomani of Ryutai was formed following the Hutomani of Wosite as many of the Ryutai blogs indicate.

Ryutai Script

Ryutai script is called in modern Japanese ryutaimoji. Written in kanji (modern Chinese letters) as 龍体文字, Ryutaimoji may be translated as “dragon characters.” The word 龍 ryu meaning dragon has replaced the native Japanese word for dragon, たつ tatsu. Followers believe that each character has a Kototama meaning with its own power for healing, and they become practitioners by repeatedly writing out Ryutai characters. 

Ryutai Futomani

Do you recognize the familiar layout of the mandalas shown at the top? We know the one on the left as the Motoake chart of the cosmic origin of the universe as described in the Wosite document, the Hutomani which was compiled by Amateru Amakami. The version of the Motoake chart with inscribed Ryutai characters is called Futomani. The Ryutai Futomani chart is formed from the Wosite Motoake by replacing the 48 Wosite characters by their corresponding Ryutai letters. 

The central circle may seem unfamiliar, but it is simply a 90-degree rotation of the Amoto circle of Amemiwoya. The three Ryutai letters are the three Wosite characters for A-U-Wa. “A-U-Wa” in Wosite means the Birth (U) of Cosmos (A) and Earth (Wa), namely the origin of the universe. 

Kami of the “Age of Gods”

It is the dating of the mythological “Age of Gods” of the governmentally-sanctioned Kojiki, produced in 712 CE, that gives rise to Ryutai dating. In other words, the names of the Kami indicate offer a clue as to the events of their period. For example, if we know when a certain Kami lived, then associated events can be approximately dated and a sort of history established. This seems to be the case with the Ryutai.

Glossary for this Western-conventional translation (not our translation).  English-language translations of the old documents of the historical period of Japan, such as the Kojiki, were produced by Westerners from a Christian culture. They used words such as “god” and “heaven” which were foreign concepts to native Japanese. Nevertheless, we are stuck with these non-politically-correct terms. 

“神, Kami” is translated as “god.” (However, in indigenous Japan, a Kami is a Kami, not a god.)

“天, Ama, Ame” is translated as “Heaven.” (In indigenous worldview, Ama is Space or Cosmos, as different from Earth.)

Note that Wosite researcher Beace has defined Kami as she understood the ancient people meant. Please see our interpretations of her posts. Since Beace was the teacher of Okunomichi, the writer of these WoshiteWorld blogs, the posts on this site provide our understanding of Kami and Ama. They can be found by use of the Search box.

“別天津神, Kotoamatsukami” refers to the first group of “gods” to appear after creation, as described in the Kojiki.

The Kotoamatsukami appeared in this order:

 Amenominakanushi

 Takamimusubi

 Kamimusubi

 Umashiashikabihikoji

 Amenotokotachi

Dating Ryutai

The two steps in the reasoning of the Ryutai age come from (1) Ryutai appeared in the time of Umashiashikabihikoji, and (2) Umashiashikabihikoji lived around 5,600 years ago. Therefore, it is said that Ryutai script is 5,600 years old.

Applications to Modern Generation

As previously mentioned, Ryutai is being touted as a healing practice. Wosite, on the other hand, is not only a healing practice, it offers the modern generation a sustainable worldview. Wosite offers us the wisdom of our ancient ancestors who knew well the principles of the Universe. Wosite wisdom is a set of guidelines for people to live in harmony with each other, with Nature, and with Universe. We can follow these guiding principles to make a world of higher consciousness, well-being, and happiness for our children and the future.

***

Japanese Emperors Summary from Takenouchi Documents and Wosite Documents

As we said in our earlier post about the Takenouchi (Takeuchi) Documents:

The Takenouchi records were compiled over a vast period of time; they were preserved by the Takenouchi family until these modern times. 

The Wosite (Woshite) Documents include the Hotuma Tutaye (Hotsuma Tsutae), the Mikasahumi (Mikasafumi), and the Hutomani (Futomani). The two sets of documents give similar as well as different histories.

In this post, we compare the emperor lists from Takenouchi and from Wosite, generation by generation. Our reference book for Takenouchi is completely in Japanese which is difficult to read. I refer to our source as “Volume Heaven,” of a two-volume set (the other volume being “Volume Earth.”)

In the combined list below, we give in brackets the corresponding names and generations from Mitsuru Ikeda’s, World of Hotsuma Legends. Some female spouse names are given; some names could not be transcribed by Okunomichi.

Note: Names ending in mi or me are female.

1 Ame hi nomuto ashikabi kimi no shi no mihikari ohokami sumira mikoto

2 Tsukuri no shiki yorozu omihikari no sumira mikoto 

& Tsukuri no shikihorozumi no mihikari no kisaki no miya

3 Ame no hinomuto hinohino minoshi kami sumira mikoto mihikari no kami

4 Ame no minakanushi

5 Ame no yakudario

6 Ame no mekudari mimihikari no kami no sumira mikoto

7 Ame ahiahasumidomi hikari sumira mikoto

8 Ame yaotaru himihikari amatsu hitsugi sumira mikoto

9 Ame no yasoyorozutama

10 Takamimusubi

11 Kanmusubi

12 Umashi ashikabi hikoji

13 Ame no ??? & Ameno tokomino …

14 Kuni no tokotachi & Kuni no tokohime

[1 Kunitokotachi]

[2 Kunisatsuchi (To & Ye)]

15 Toyokumo nune & Toyokunmi

[3 Toyokunnu]

16 Uhijini & Suhijinimi

[4 Ubichini & Subichini]

17 Tsunuguhi & Ikuguhi

18 Ohotonoji & Ohotonomi

[5 Ōtonochi & Ōtomae]

19 Omodaruhiko & Omotaruhime

[6 Omotaru & Kashikone]

20 Kashikone & Kashikomi

21 Izanagi & Izanami

[7 Isanagi & Isanami]

22 Amasakanori Himukatsuhime

[8 Amateru & Mukatsuhime]

23 Ame no Oshihomimi & ???

[9 Oshihomimi]

24 Ame Ninigi & Konohanasakuyahime

[10 Ninikine]

25 Amatsuhiko Hohodemi & Toyotamahime

[11 Hohodemi]

———

1 Take Ugaya Fukiahasezu & Tamayorihime (last entry in the volume)

[12 Ugayafuki-Awasezu]

[ Ikeda continues with “Human Emperors”]

[1 Iwawarehiko (Jimmu)]

[2 Kanugawamimi (Suizei)]

[3 Tamatemi (Annei)]

[10 Mimaki (Sūjin)]

[11 Ikumeirihiko (Suinin)]

[12 Woshirowake (Keikō)]

The Wosite list ends here since the documents were compiled for Emperor Keikō.

***

HAPPY NEW YEAR! WINTER SOLSTICE 2020

Map of Japan showing latitudes. The three main islands lies approximately 30 to 40 degrees north latitude. Image credit

FUYU ITARU HI:  WINTER SOLSTICE and THE SIX-SEASON SOLAR CALENDAR 

In the Wosite language of Jōmon Japan, the winter solstice was termed, fuyu itaru hi, the day that winter (fuyu) arrives. In modern Japan, this same meaning is pronounced tōji. Yet in haiku over the years, the older indigenous fuyu itaru hi frequently appears.

As we have shown in other articles, the Jōmon certainly had used a solar calendar of their own making. The solar-tracking megaliths of Kanayama are evidence of this. This is natural in an early civilization so attuned to the life-giving sun.

Hiyomi and Koyomi

The solar calendar is confirmed in the Wosite writings of the same period, circa 5,000 years ago. They name a brilliant man named Achihiko Omoikane as its creator, for which he received the title, Hi-yomi-no-miya, Master of the Solar Calendar. Until that time, calendars were called koyomi (ko-yomi), meaning to read the trees for the seasons. Even though Japan now uses the Gregorian solar calendar, the word for calendar is still koyomi!

Achihiko showed how to read the sun for more accurately knowing the seasons of the year. For practical reasons in a rural landscape without electricity or flashlight batteries, indigenous people relied on lunar phases to mark the days. However, the lunar calendar does not match well with the solar year; too many adjustments are needed. The people of Wosite times wanted to know the solar year which tells the seasons for practical purposes such as fishing, hunting, and agriculture. 

One might speculate that the earliest shrines in the form of standing megaliths or grove of sacred trees were oriented toward the east, and we have seen many cases of this. Later, perhaps, their astronomical knowledge enabled them to place shrines solsticially. 

Winter Solstice Sunrise

In the land of Japan, between 30 to 40 degrees north latitude, the winter solstice sun rises and sets 30 degrees south of the east-west line. In field trips to hundreds of old shrines, we have found a predominance of shrines facing either the sunrise or the sunset of winter solstice. This implies that ancient people knew how to determine these solstice directions. And they found it significant to orient their sacred places to honor the sun’s return to the north. 

One of the oldest shrines in Japan is the Asadori Jinja. Its origin is unknown. Yet, the local Shinto priest conducts a ceremony starting just before dawn on winter solstice morning. The villagers have assembled to greet the sun as it rises. At first light, they shout “ka-kee kō!” Thus the name of the shrine, Asa-dori, which means the Bird of Morning, the rooster. 

Solar Observations of the Kanayama Megaliths

On the Higashinoyama (Eastern Mountain) of Kanayama are a grouping of lying megaliths some 9 meters long. They point to the sun as it clears the terrain on the morning of the winter solstice. 

Moreover, observations can be made 60 days before and after this date. (Solar observations can be made more accurately when the sun is not near solstice). The earlier date gives advance notice of the day that winter solstice will arrive so that they could prepare their ceremony. As well, this is an important date in their solar calendar as we shall shortly explain.

By careful observations over long periods of time, the Jōmon people knew the four-year leap-year cycle as well as the longer 128-year cycle. Theirs is an observational calendar, always true to the actual movement of the sun.

In the Wosite literature the winter solstice marked the beginning of the new year. Our own Gregorian calendar begins the new year on January 1, ten days after the winter solstice. Was this choice deliberate? The Solar calendar of the Jōmon was deliberately designed “from scratch,” so to speak.

Kanayama Solar Calendar with Six Seasons 

The Kanayama solar calendar is noteworthy for its six-part symmetry. Each season is approximately 60 days long. In this chart, we have placed winter solstice at the bottom, when the sun is lowest in the sky, furthest south. The calendar reads clockwise. Let’s approximate the year as having 360 days. Then the 60 days before winter solstice may be considered to begin the early winter season, and 60 days after winter solstice marks the end of late winter and the beginning of the 60-day spring season. Spring lasts, on this calendar, from 30 days before to 30 days after the vernal equinox. And so it goes for the rest of the year until the calendar and the sun cycle back around. In this chart from the Kanayama Research Center, the dates shown in red are actual dates when multiple solar observations are made at the megaliths.

On wall calendars in the U.S., the winter solstice date is labelled the “first day of winter.” In the U.K., this day is termed “midwinter day.” It’s interesting that the U.K. custom matches the six-season calendar.

Asanoha Sacred Symbol

The six-fold symmetry of the solar calendar is reminiscent of the sacred symbol of the asanoha motif. Asanoha represents the vigor of the asa hemp plant, sacred to the people. The asanoha pattern is often found in children’s clothing and dishes to wish good health and longevity. The asanoha pattern shown here on the left in woodwork is the Japanese version of the flower of life. The diagram on the right is a copy of the flower of life pattern in stone of the Temple of Abydos in Egypt. 

Hemp is known for being long used in making ropes for its strength and durability. While growing hemp was banned for a period of time in certain countries when it was thought to contain THC, the hallucinatory chemical in marijuana, the hemp plant is now making a comeback to legality and is serving for health and medicinal purposes, as it was meant to do. It is also a sustainable plant and is being more widely used in ecofriendly fabrics.

Astronomical Cross Quarters of Space

We find that the four dates which delineate the boundaries of the 120-day summer and winter seasons are known to astronomers as the cross-quarter dates. These dates do not divide the temporal year into four parts of 91 days each. Rather, they divide the times of the year when the sun’s path in the sky moves into another of the four zones. With the solstices marking the extreme borders, there are six calendar dates dividing the Jōmon calendar into six seasons. This is very interesting, since the ancient Vedic calendar of India has the same six seasons. However, the Vedic calendar is based on stellar observations and will gradually cease to match the solar year as the star patterns in the sky change due to a precessional cycle of around 26,000 years.

In this NASA chart , the zone occupied by the sun in the sky is bordered by the red arc for summer solstice and the green arc for winter solstice. It is divided into two parts by the path of the sun during the equinoxes, shown in blue. The cross-quarters are the further division of each half again into half, thus forming four quarters of the sun’s zone. By this, we mean the angles are divided into half. For example, for latitudes around 35 degrees the red and green arcs are separated by 60 degrees; the half-way angles are separated by 15 degrees. 

Summary

In conclusion, we have discussed the Jōmon indigenous solar calendar. We have pointed out some aspects of ancient calendars and how the sun is observed on certain days of the year, including the winter solstice. The winter solstice has served as the start of the new year in many indigenous cultures as well as in Japan. 

The return of the sun on the winter solstice is certainly a cause for celebration!

P.S. A related winter solstice post on Iwakage, the blog site of the Kanayama Megaliths is here.

***

Togakushi and Togakushi Jinja

Opening of the heavenly door by Tajiikarao as Ame-no-Uzume dances and myriad of kami welcome the emerging Amateru

Togakushi

Togakushi Village and the nearby Togakushi Shrine are situated in the north of Nagano within the Joshinetsu National Park, a 45-min drive from Nagano City. This volcanic area is at an altitude of 1,200m at the foot of the two volcanoes, Mt Togakushi 戸隠山 (1,904m) and Mt Iizuna 飯縄山 (1,917m).

Deeply steeped in mystery, Togakushi is part of the Ama-no-iwato Hirake myth, the opening of the Heavenly Cave Door. Ama-no-Uzume danced and Tatikarawo (Tajikarao) opened the Amanoiwato, and the door flew to Shinano/Nagano. Togakushi means hidden door.

Togakushi Jinja 戸隠神社 N 36.76, E 138.07, Alt 1289m 

Togakushi Jinja consists of five shrines at three shrine locations: the lower, middle, and upper shrine areas. The lower area has shrines 宝光社 Hōkō-sha  (Treasure of Light) and 火之御子社 Hino-miko-sha. The middle site has the 中社 Chū-sha (Middle Shrine). The upper area consists of the 奥社 Oku-sha (Deep Sanctuary) and 九頭龍社 Kuzuryu-sha.

Togakushi Jinja may have originated at Achi Jinja in southern Nagano. Togakushi’s Chū-sha and Achi Jinja both enshrine Omoikane.

Oku-sha 奥社

First torii to Oku-sha; map showing route from first torii through path of cedars up to Oku-sha; arrival at Zuishinmon gate before the upwards climb

Oku-sha, the oldest of the five, is the sanctuary of the shrine high up in the mountains. The Oku-sha enshrines Amateru and Tatikarawo (Tajikarao). The map shows the long path from the first torii to the Oku-sha. We went as far as the Zuishinmon Gate. The rest of the way would be all uphill. This site is considered a power spot and is immensely popular with those visiting the shrine as well as the walking-impaired who could enjoy the smooth walkways through nature.

Genbu.net has this to say about Oku-sha. The original kami of this sha were nine dragon-kami who dwell in rock caves. Dragons are associated with water and will relieve tooth decay problems if one prays to them. The legend of Tajikarao was introduced later.

Zuishinmon Gate of Togakushi Oku-Sha

Chū-sha 中社 Center Shrine

Chū-sha
Haiden of Chū-sha
Sazare-taki

Chū-sha means middle or center shrine. It is physically located in the center of the array of five Togakushi shrines. The second Togakushi sha (after Oku sha) to be establlished was Hōkō-sha, and Chū-sha was created midway between the two. Chū-sha enshrines the kami Omoikane. It is commonly said that Omoikane is “the kami who organized the kagura dance performance in front of the cave”. We have yet to find this reference in the Hotuma Tutaye Wosite document. However, the document tells us that Omoikane is the father of Tatikarawo who opened the cave door. Also known as Achihiko in Wosite history, Omoikane is a great-grandson of Toyoke Takamimusubi and he held the post of Hiyomi-no-miya, Master of the Solar Calendar, for Amateru. Omoikane is generally considered to be a kami of wisdom. The full story of Omoikane can be found in the Wosite documents.

Sacred tree

Hinomiko Sha 火之御子社, 日之御子社

Hinomiko Sha enshrines Ame-no-Uzume, the female kami whose dancing lured Amateru out of the cave. Also enshrined are Takamimusubi, Oshihomimi (son of Amateru), and his daughter Takuhatachichihime. In Wosite history, the best-known Takamimusubi is the grandfather of Amateru. It is said that the name Hinomiko refers to a kami of fire (hi), which seems rather out of place here. If the word Hinomiko were written with the character for sun (hi) instead of fire, 日之御子社, Hinomiko would mean the son of the kami of the sun, namely Amateru. This would make more sense.

Genbu.net has a comment on the name and the enshrined kami. Based on Oku-sha’s kami Tajikarao and Chu-sha’s Omoikane, Genbu says that Hinomiko sha’s kami Ame-no-Uzume is in error and she should have been named elsewhere.

Hōkō-sha and Kuzuryu-sha

We were unable to visit two of the five Togakushi sha. Hōkō-sha enshrines Ama-no-Uwaharu (another son of Omoikane) and a guard in the tenson korin myth. Kuzuryu Jinja Nine Dragon Shrine enshrines a water kami known as Kuzuryuu no Ookami from ancient times, or Benzaiten from later Buddhist times. In Japanese thought, dragons are associated with water, as is Benzaiten. We missed these two because we were unable to park the car at the Hōkō-sha, and the other is located at the top near Oku-Sha.

Kuzuryusha sits next to Okusha, and has been the central deity for the Togakushi worship as the local deity since the old time. As the deity who presides over the water, it is worshiped by the people engaged in agriculture in the wide area along Torii, Kusu and Susobana rivers, as well as the Echigo region, which is connected through the underground water.
Though the date of foundation is unknown, it was enshrined as the local deity before the enshrinement of Ame-no-tajikarao-no-mikoto. It is worshiped for its divine virtue of realization of wishes. It is also worshiped as the god of [dental] caries as well as of matchmaking.

From http://en.nagano-cvb.or.jp/modules/sightseeing/page/376
Togakushi Jinja plaque at Chū-sha

The comment about the original deity of Togakushi being a dragon-water being can lead one to regard the Togakushi shrines as being ancient sacred places honoring kami of nature such as water and fire. Later, historical figures were added, and even later some Buddhist elements were incorporated. There is still much that remains a mystery about Togakushi.

***

Suwa Taisha Honmiya and Maemiya

Suwa Region

The Suwa region surrounding Lake Suwa lies at the foot of the Yatsugatake mountains in Nagano. It is steeped in mystery and legend from prehistoric times. The presence of kami and nature spirits can still be felt today. Suwa is dominated by the presence of Suwa Taisha, the grand shrine of Suwa, noted for its exciting Onbashira festival. The four shrine locations of Suwa Taisha each have four of these giant pillars.

Wosite and Lake Suwa

We wanted to visit Suwa because it connects with our Wosite research of Jomon Japan through the son and grandsons of Sosanowo (Susanoo), brother of Amateru. After Sosanowo, his son Onamuchi governed the land of Izumo. Although his people lived well, Onamuchi ignored the unification sought by Amateru in the central land. Onamuchi, popularly called Omononushi and Okuninushi, had two sons of note in this story. Kusuhiko received the title Kotoshironushi and he became the second Omononushi.

When Kusuhiko advised his father Onamuchi to give up Izumo to unify with Amateru, Onamuchi didn’t comply right away. Kusuhiko’s brother Takeminakata resisted on their father’s behalf, and was chased by the central force led by Takemikazuchi from Izumo to the umi (lake) of Shinano. There, Takeminakata surrendered, saying Suwa! Alas! Thus this umi is known as Suwako, Lake Suwa; it is the largest lake in Nagano prefecture.

Suwa Taisha 諏訪大社

Suwa Taisha is ichinomiya first shrine of Shinano. Gosaishin enshrined kami are: Takeminakata, his wife Yasakatome, and Yaekotoshironushi (Kusuhiko, Takeminakata’s brother).

Wikipedia has something curious to say about Suwa Taisha: “Although these [Takeminaka and Yasakatome] are the official identities of the shrine’s gods, most of its rituals are actually not so much concerned with their identities but with their character as Mishaguji , local agricultural and fertility deities. The name ‘Takeminakata’ in fact does not appear in historical records of the Upper Shrine’s religious rites; rather, the focus of worship in these rituals are often identified as the Mishaguji.”

And about Mishaguji:  “Believed to be spirits that inhabit natural objects like trees or rocks that could also be called upon to possess  humans or objects during religious rituals, Mishaguji are also thought to be god(s) of boundaries and protector(s) of communities. Worship of the Mishaguji occupied a central place in the religious beliefs of the Suwa region in Nagano prior to the arrival of the Yamato state iin the area. “

There are four Suwa sha shrines, two north of the lake, two south. These are ancient shrines; i.e., they were sacred places to the ancient people long before Shinto shrines were built. Honmiya has Mt Moriya itself as its goshintai sacred object. The Maemiya or earlier shrine has a honden containing a sacred object within. These two sha on the south side of Suwako are called the Upper Shrines. The kami is Takeminakata.

The other two sha are called the Lower Shrine; they are on the north side of Lake Suwa. Their enshrined kami is Yasakatome, spouse of Takeminakata. The Harumiya Spring Shrine has a sugi tree as goshintai,  and Akimiya Autumn Shrine has the ichii tree; they indicate prehistoric nature reverence.

Suwa Taisha Honmiya

The Honmiya is the main shrine with large grounds and is immensely popular. It is comprised of a number of halls.

Suwa Taisha Maemiya 前宮

Maemiya means former shrine, and it must be the first of the Suwa shrines. It is much more modest and charming. On a hillside, the Maemiya felt cool and refreshing.

There is a lovely brook at the base of this shrine where people can fill up their plastic bottles with cold, pure mountain water.

Our report on Suwa Taisha continues in the next post on Harumiya and Akimiya.

***

Kototama of Wosite and Hotsuma

Kototama

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”.

Wosite Language

The Wosite language used in writing the Hotsuma Tsutae, the Futomani, and the Mikasafumi documents is a Kototama language. Wosite studies are posted at https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/. Recently, WoshiteWorld has published posts on the Kototama of Hotsuma and Wosite. They are: “The Kototama of Wosite,” and ““Process of Kototama”. In addition, there is a discussion of the waka poetry of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shoken.

***

Tanabata — A Jomon Festival

mikasafumi-namekoto-no-ayaNamekoto no Aya by Yasutoshi Waniko, courtesy Japan Translation Center

Tanahata (Tanabata)

Tanahata is a matsuri of the Jomon people, as told by the Wosite documents of Jomon Japan. The Law of Universe is explained in terms of a weaving metaphor. Tanahata is a weaving loom. When weaving, one uses a shuttle to connect horizontal threads with vertical threads. In a similar manner, Ame Cosmos interacts with Tuti Earth, just as wo Male with me Female. The result is Hito, a human being, like you and me. Tanahata connects us with time and space — and with each other. Tanahata is an event that fosters family, global and cosmic relationships. 

Tanahata Maturi, Hosi Maturi

In the 7th month of the year, the heat of summer is softening and there is even a breeze tonight. It is the seventh day, the first quarter of the moon, so that the night sky is dark and stars twinkle. The Amanogawa Milky Way is an awesome spectacle. A ceremony is held, the Woto Tanahata no Hosi Maturi. Cotton and hemp are woven, and lotus rice is offered to Amemiwoya, the Cosmic Parent.    [Namekoto no Aya, see below.]

qraud-kochi.jp:activity:weaving:o

Shuttle of a loom

Weaving.  The Tanahata ceremony was sacred. Weaving was sacred work entrusted to women, for weaving makes the Way of Universe visible in form. The weaving itself represents the unity of Universe and Earth, of man and woman, and their intersection is a person like you and me. This is explained in the Kituyoji teaching recorded in the Wosite document called the Mikasahumi.

Stars. Stars are honored as ancestors. Breath of spirit, breath of life, come from Ame Miwoya. Miwoya is like the pole star, and ancestors are like the stars that rotate around it. Ancestors, too, are a source of life to each one of us. We look up at stars and feel gratitude for the life with which we are blessed. Our Jomon ancestors felt moved at the beautiful sight in the night sky. Their souls connected with ancestors and they started this tradition. Hearts filled with joy and gratitude, they danced. 

Time and Space.  Another effect of ori weaving of Tanahata is connecting toki-tokoro, time and space. The vertical threads represent time, the horizontal threads space. Tanahata is an observance of time and space. The Tanahata festival was originated by wise ancestors of Wosite Jomon times. Tanahata connects us with time and space, with Universe and Earth, with each other. 

Modern Tanabata Festival

“Tanahata is a festival already ancient in Jomon times.”

http-::yokosojapan.co.jp:tanabata-time:

The Tanahata (Tanabata) star festival of the Weaver was traditionally held on the seventh night of the seventh lunar month. The lunar year did not begin on our January first, so the seventh month is not July but likely to be in our August. Tanabata Matsuri is held in July or August in modern times, and it has become a story of two lovers meeting once a year at the Milky Way. While many think erroneously that the Tanabata Festival is of Continental origin, it was celebrated by Jomonese long before Continental contact. It was not about love relationship, but rather about relationship of humans with others, with ancestors, and with Universe. When you participate in the Tanabata Festival, remember how it originated in Jomon Japan and remember your connections with the stars. 

Obon Odori

The dancing of the Jomon Tanahata has spun off into the Bon Odori, the folk dancing a week later when people in their later Buddhist faith welcomed the spirits of deceased ancestors.

Namekoto no Aya

The Wosite passage at the top of this page is from the Jomon-period Mikasafumi document, Namekoto no Aya. It mentions Tanahata in the third line below. A glossary is given in an appendix.

ahumi matu     /     hume ni yawasite

kaze to nasu     /     yumi hari ni umu

iu to asa     /     woto tanahata no

hosi maturi     /     moti ha miwoya to

iki tama ni     /     yena no hasuke no

me-wo a-e ha     /     a-ogi odori te

i o ukuru

Discussion

In the annals of the Wosite documents of Jomon Japan, annual festivals of the first, third, fifth, seventh, and ninth lunar months are mentioned as follows:

1/1     Hatsuhi, New Year’s Day

3/3     Momo no Sekku Peach Festival of Girls Day (Hinamatsuri)

5/5      Aoi Matsuri, Hollyhock Festival of Kyoto

7/7     Tanahata Matsuri, Star Festival

9/9     Kiku-kuri Matsuri, Chrysanthemum-Chestnut Festival

These are all Jomon festivals, kept alive to today.

16500feetmilkywaykc2_brunier800

Milky Way, by Brunier

Jomonese were keen observers of the skies, day and night. When the moon was in its first quarter on the seventh night of the seventh lunar month, they would have seen the summer Milky Way, which they called Amanogawa, the Cosmic River. They would remember the Kituyoji teaching and contemplate toki-tokoro time-space. They could imagine weaving amongst the stars, weaving time and space. And so they called this observance Tanahata Maturi, Hosi Maturi, and we would say Tanabata Festival, Star Festival.

Appendix – Glossary

ahumi, 7th lunar month

hume ni yawasite, the heat is softening

kaze, breeze

yumihari, first quarter of the moon

iu, cotton;  asa, hemp

hosi, star

maturi, observance

Miwoya, Cosmic Parent

hasuke, food offering

odori, dance

sc155955

Weaving on a Loom, by Kitagawa Utamaro 1798

 

Update 2018.09.12.  Matocayamato, another Wosite blogsite, has published a similar post, entitled, Origin of Tanahata and the Origin of Bon Odori.

We have also published a new post on the Tanahata festival of Sendai, August 2018.

***