Tag Archives: alignments

Hi no Michi, Path of Sun

A fuller report on Hi no Michi is presented by Iwaya Rockbat at:   https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/hi-no-michi-path-of-sun/

Hi no michi ya

aoi katamuku

satsuki ame

— Basho

Hi no michi, the path of the sun in the sky.


Photo credit:  http://studiesofplantsandwildlife.blogspot.com/

Hi no Michi alignment map.  We have recently encountered the map of important shrines throughout Japan connected by the Hi no Michi. Hi-no-michi mapSee: https://okunomichi.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/awa-mystery/.

Hi no Michi at Kanayama Megaliths.   The solar calendar of Kanayama Megaliths is based on the path of the sun during the year. The sun travels in a certain zone in the sky. Its northern limit is during the summer solstice day, while its southernmost is at winter solstice. At equinox, the sun travels the central path in the sky.





Awa Mystery

Hi-no-michi map

Hi-no-michi Map, Izanagi Jingu, May 2016

In our post on Woshite World, https://woshiteworld.wordpress.com/2016/06/01/894/we mentioned a mystery of an alignment of shrines that has been proposed at Isanagi Jingu on Awajishima, in Awaji-no-kuni. We first encountered it here, Onogoro and Kuni-umi Myth.  Then we received much information from Hitoshi Uchiyama. We are grateful to him for sharing the results of his research.

There is a theory that all the “Awa” place names are related in some way. For the sake of discussion, let us disregard the kanji rendering of “Awa.” There are several different kanji and they may be totally irrelevant to the reasoning of the story. We must remember that Awa is a word from Isanami/Isanagi times, long before kanji was introduced into the written language. That is to say, “Awa” would have been written in Woshite moji with the Woshite syllables for “A” and “Wa.” In hiragana, it is written  あわ.

Awaji.  We have noted that Isanagi Jingu on Awaji island has a monument with a map of shrine alignments called Hi-no-michi. Hi-no-michi means path of the sun. This shrine is ichinomiya of Awaji. Note that Awaji means road to Awa.

Awa-no-kuni.  There are two Awa-no-kuni we’ve mentioned so far. The original at Oumi from the time of Isanami and Isanagi. The other is Awa-no-kuni on Shikoku, adjacent to Awaji (now Tokushima, home of the popular awa-odori). There is a third Awa in today’s Chiba-ken. And there is an indirect connection between Kumano and Awa in Chiba through some place names in common, such as Shirahama and Katsu-ura. 

Awa in Hida.   Norikuradake, Mt. Norikura, in Hida was once called Awa-dake, Mt. Awa. And, at the border of Hida and Shinano kuni (now Nagano), there is Abo-toge Pass, written with kanji that can be read “Awa-toge.” This makes four places where Awa is found.

Miyazaki.   Now, let’s introduce the (possibly) unifying element, Jimmu Tenno. He bore the name Kamuyamato-Iwarehiko in the seventh century BCE, a sixth-generation descendant of Isanami and Isanagi. He unified the land of Yamato beginning from Miyazaku, Kyushu. The Miyazaki area was called Himuka or Hyuga.

Iwarehiko developed plantations in different areas. Fusa-no-kuni is in present Chiba-ken. During the campaign, Iwarehiko was also in Osaka and Kumano. The similarity of cultures can be noted among Hyugo/Miyazaki, Awa/Shikoku, Kumano (east coast of Kii), and Awa/Chiba. These are all places visited by Iwarebiko. One can surmise that he is possibly the unifying factor among them. A look at the southern coastlines of Honshu, Shikoku and the eastern part of Kyushu — all places where he has been — can be convincing.

Alignment Theory.   This reasoning has led some to believe that perhaps Iwarehiko is the one who initiated the alignment of shrines such as that on the Hi-no-Michi of Isanagi Jingu on Awajishima. The shrine’s GPS coordinates are 34.46, 134.85.

Shrines of the Hi-no-Michi Alignment.   There are four cardinal directions and four solsticial directions, centered at Isanagi Jingu. At latitude 35 degrees, the solstice directions are 30 degrees north and south of east and west. (At latitude 34.5, the solstice angles are less than 30 degrees.) This makes for the stunning geometry seen in the alignment map. The cardinal shrines are:

North:   Izushi Jinja  出石 神社 (ichinomiya of Tajima 但馬国 , Tamba-no-kuni)

East:   Ise Jingu 伊勢神宮 (内宮 Naigu)     

South:   Yuzuruha Jinja  諭鶴羽(ユズルハ), Awajishima

West:   Kaijin Jinja 海神 神社(かいじんじんじゃ), Tsushima

The solsticial shrines are:

SSR:   Suwa Taisha 諏訪大社 (ichinomiya of Shinano  信濃国一宮)

WSR:   Kumano Taisha  熊野大社

WSS:   Takachiho Jinja  高千穂神社, Ama-no-Iwato Jinja  天岩戸神社

SSS:   Izumo Taisha  出雲大社 (ichinomiya of Izumo), Hinomisaki Jinja  日御碕神社


Jade, Tectonics, and Sacred Sites

My first magatama was a jade bead purchased at Takachiho Jinja. Although magatama are made of various stones, I had a sense that jade is the most appropriate stone. Recently while conversing with a guji-san at a jinja he said that the only source of jade in Japan is Itoigawa in Niigata-ken. This was in connection with how people of the past avoided battle by negotiating and exchanging gifts such as jewelry. Here is some information which I have gathered about hisui jade and magatama beads. It turns out that jade is found in tectonic regions, and there are many stories about sacred sites in Japan being located on the Median Tectonic Line.


2015-07-20 18.18.40

Magatama have long held deep spiritual meaning. The curved shape represents growth of a fetus, movement of the universe, the human soul. Magatama are comma-shaped beads which were made during the late Jomon period through the Kofun period, 1000 BCE to 600 CE. They were made of various stones and used as pendants and necklaces. By the end of the Kofun period they were mostly made of jade and used for ceremonial and religious purposes. They still possess a high symbolic value.

Jade and jadeite

—Jade is the gemstone name for two different mineral forms, Jadeite and Nephrite. [http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/jade_gemstone.aspx]

— Itoigawa is an important deposit of jadeite.  [http://www.minerals.net/mineral/jadeite.aspx]

Itoigawa jadeite and magatama

‘The only source of jadeite in East Asia is from the Jade Coast in Niigata prefecture of Japan and known as “Itoigawa jade”…  Itoigawa jadeite from Niigata is collected from the Hime River emptying onto the “Jade Coast” in the Japan Sea…  Itoigawa jadeite was utilized in Japan from Jomon times, particularly in the 1st millennium BC. The ornaments of these hunter-gatherer-horticulturalists consisted of slit earrings and pebble pendants…  In the Kofun period of state formation (250–645AD), curved beads became an important insignia of the elite, and the curved bead (magatama), bronze mirror and sword comprise the imperial regalia of the Japanese emperor.’   [Gina L. Barnes, http://www.academia.edu/11781202/JADE_its_tectonic_formation_geochemistry_and_archaeology_in_East_Asia_in_reverse_order]

Jade is produced by crustal movement, formed when a subducting plate is brought up to the surface by tectonic movements. An archaeological site from about 2,600 BCE has revealed that jade was processed in Itoigawa. Almost all of the jade artifacts of the Jomon culture were produced in Itoigawa, and not only distributed across the country but even to the Korean Peninsula. This makes this the oldest jade culture in the world.  [http://www.globalgeopark.org/aboutGGN/list/Japan/6443.htm, http://www.geo-itoigawa.com/eng/geosite/geosite9/index.html ].

‘4000 BC Neolithic Jadeite culture in Japan! The Jadeite from the Itoigawa area was used in prehistoric times by people of the Jomon culture (4000 to 1600 BC) for fashioning first tools and then beads and pendants (taishu’s) and later on also the well known comma or cashew shaped Jade pendants or Magatamas. A Neolithic Jomon settlement has been excavated on Myama, a small hill overlooking Itoigawa City and all the artifacts assembled in a newly build museum the Chojagahara Archeology Hall. Jadeite use died out in Japan around 700 AD.’   [sic, Herbert Geiss, http://www.friendsofjade.org/current-article/2003/10/1/jade-news-fall-2003.html ]

Continental tectonic plates

The large map of the continental plates is from http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dynamic/slabs.html.  The archipelago of Japan can be dimly seen on the upper left, where the (green) Eurasian plate meets the (brown) North American tectonic plate. Also seen bordering the (yellow) Pacific plate is the infamous Ring of Fire of volcanic activity.

中央構造線 (ちゅうおうこうぞうせん)  Median Tectonic Line

The Median Tectonic Line of Japan is where the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates meet. [Ref. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_Median_Tectonic_Line ] The second map showing the Median Tectonic Line (red line) is from http://www.tohyamago.com/rekisi/chuoukouzousen_suwa/ . In this map, the Eurasian plate is pink and the North American plate is green. The Fossa Magna (shown in blue) is a zone of deformation and low topography.

Itoigawa is situated on the Japan Sea coast of Hokuriku Northlands. It is directly on the Itoigawa-Shizuoka portion of the Median Tectonic Line at the boundary where the Eurasian plate meets the Fossa Magna.

Median Tectonic Line

Median Tectonic Line

Median Tectonic Line and Sacred Sites

The geology of the ground on either side of the Median Tectonic Line differs greatly since they were created at different geological times. In some places the respective magnetic fields may cancel out, leaving a zero magnetic field at the interface.

Many sacred sites have been recognized on the Median Tectonic Line. See the third map showing sacred sites which is from https://www.facebook.com/yasuyuki.fujita1/posts/645751485489972 . They include, starting in the west (left):

Heitate Jingu on Mt. Aso, Kyushu Island

Ishizuchi Yama on Shikoku Island

Koyasan, Yoshino, and Ise Jingu on the Kii Peninsula

Suwa Taisha, Nagano Alps

Rieko Ido, Japanese history and anthropology researcher, has stated in this online article (no longer available), http://www.wattention.com/archives/japanese-sanctuaries-and-the-median-tectonic-line/:

‘Many famous Japanese shrines considered sacred since ancient times were built along this median tectonic line. One also cannot overlook the fact that rich minerals were deposited in the soil of median tectonic line because of repeated volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Here we can see a strong relationship between Japanese sanctuaries and minerals. According to the old records. There used to be more eruptions and earthquakes in Japan. so it is easy to guess that the existence of many shrines built on the median tectonic line were closely related to religious faith in order to calm down eruptions and earthquakes. In fact, if you visit shrines. you will see that the gods enshrined in places of worship are most often symbols to quieten down the wrath of Nature.’

Sacred sites on Median Tectonic Line

Sacred sites on Median Tectonic Line

Further research is necessary in order to understand the relationship between tectonic lines and sacred sites. Still, isn’t it fitting that the hisui jadeite in magatama comes from a region associated with sanctuaries and sacred sites?

2017.07.21 Update

Long history in Japan helps make jade the ‘national stone’

By YOICHI MASUDA/ Staff Writer, The Asahi Shimbun, September 25, 2016 at 16:30 JST

KANAZAWA–Stuck between a rock and a hard place, voters chose jade as Japan’s “national stone” over quartz. The selection was made here on Sept. 24 [2016] during the annual meeting of the Japan Association of Mineralogical Sciences. … because jade culture in Japan is the oldest in the world, having its roots about 7,000 years ago.

2021.06.21 Update

Summary of shrines shown in the last map:

1• 鹿島神宮 Kashima Shrine

2• 香取神宮 Katori Shrine

3• 諏訪大社 Suwa Taisha

4• 豊川稲荷 Toyokawa Inari

5• 豊川稲荷 Ise-Jingu

6• 天河大弁財天社 Tenkawa Dai Benzaiten Shrine

7• 高野山 Mt. Koya

8• 石鎚山 Mt. Ishizuchi


Kuromanta Yama

Kuromanta coverThis book is by Suzuki Akira.

Kuromanta Yama is a man-made pyramid of seven layers built around four thousand years ago in Akita Ken.  The name ‘Kuramanta’ is not a Japanese word. It is probably from the Jomon. We visited in October 2010. . The pyramid shape was created by Jomon people who started with a natural hill, made seven layers, and then smoothed the sides. This was reported by a university team using x-ray techniques. The forest cover makes it look like a natural yama except for its symmetry. As we can see, the pyramid rises abruptly from the farmland plain.


The Motomiya Shrine crowns Kuromanta. Although ‘Motomiya’ was named after someone a thousand years ago, intriguingly enough it means ‘original shrine.’ It is said that there has been a shrine at the peak since ancient days. The peak is actually a flat area, as the photo below shows.


The torii announcing the entrance and path to Motomiya Jinja.

The shrine at the top appears as we climb the forested mountain. The shrine building is a simple wooden structure.


IMG_0378  IMG_0380

Kuromanta map

Here is a map from the book. What we need is the location of Kuromanta. The closest we have found is that of Oyu stone circles nearby, 40.3N 140.8 E. Here, the solstice angle is 31.6 degrees.

You will first note that the cardinal directions are shifted by five degrees; the dark lines are the cardinal directions of the Jomon. This is due to their age of 4,100 years ago. Due to precession, the North Star at the time was Ryu-za alpha, Alpha Draconis (Thuban) in the constellation Draco the Dragon. Kuromanta pyramid mountain is at the center of the map. To its southwest is the location of the Oyu Stone Circles indicated by a dot in a circle. There are jinja to the east and west of Kuromanta. We saw the shrine to the east and it was rather unremarkable; no one living near it could say who the enshrined kami is (currently there is a ceramic state of a Bodhisattva). Then therere is the Kusaki Jinja to the south and the Kuromori-yama (Black Forest Mountain) up north – their north.

Note also the many other alignments the author has found – some of them are in directions of the solstice sunrises and sunsets. There are five lines leading to Inu-Hoeru-Mori (Barking Dog Forest). We wanted to go there but we could find no roads to take us. Wouldn’t you be curious too?

Another thing we’ve noticed is the heights of the mountains in this region. Kuromanta is not so tall at 280 m, There are taller mountains to the north (549m) and two to the east (768m and 646m), the 646m one being the Barking Dog Forest. There is also to the northeast, the White Mountain at 429m. in the northwest another pyramid mountain is indicated, at height 332m.

Aomori Ken lies at the northern end of Honshu.    Map_of_Japan_with_highlight_on_02_Aomori_prefecture.svg

KOBAYASHI: Koshinto Nyumon Part 1

Kobayashi Biigen is an interesting author. We will post some of his writings. Guji Kobayashi KobayashiCoverpassed away a few years ago.

Kobayashi Bigen, Koshinto Nyumon, 1998

Chapter 7 Kannagara naru Omichi he:  Energy Lines pp244-249

The Author: Kobayashi Sensei was guji for 37 years. Born in Taipei in 1927, served on battleship. Attended Shinto school at Atsuta Jinja 12 years; guji at Kumano Motomiya; Omiya Jinja 11 years; Ishikiri Tsurugiya Jinja 13 years. He also spent some time in Europe but unfortunately for us, he hasn’t published in the English language. He was exceptionally knowledgeable in broad areas of sacred wisdom and philosophy, and we are trying hard to translate his works. Here is a part of the last chapter in this book. He is writing about energy lines connecting sacred places in Japan. They have something to do with how principles in the universe are reflected as patterns on earth.

Fig26 Fig27Fig28

On pages 245ff Kobayashi shows what he terms energy lines in Figures 26 – 31. He begins with an area centered on Awaji Shima, the legendary birthplace of Japan. See Fig. 26.

Fig. 26 shows a triangular alignment ABC, distance 160 km between apexes.

A  Sengamine (mountain) Hyogo

B  Tamakiyama, Nara

C  Tsurugiyama, Shikoku

On those mountain tops are himorogi/iwakura from 15,000 yearso ago.

Fig. 27 is a larger region and shows a circle passing through points A, B, and D, where

D  Izanagi Jingu, Awaji no Ichinomiya

Then the circle also passes through

E  Ise no Naiku

F  Ibukiyama

G  Oue Yama, Motoise Naiku

Fig. 28 is an even larger region. A star-shape is formed by connecting jinja. The lines of the star are DE, EG, GH, HF,FD. Points on the star are G F E H D, where

H  Kumano Motomiya Taisha

If we extend GF to the east, we get a straight line to

J   Fuji Yama

Extending to the west, our line goes to

K  Izumo Taisha

Additional alignments are shown in Figs. 29 – 31 of his book, not shown here, with points L M N.

L  Kushimoto Ushiyo-misaki, Wakayama

M  Kaizu

N  Suwa Taisha

O  Nikko Futa-areyama Jinja (Toshogu)

He mentions some names which I have not succeeded in tracking down: Nakanishi Akira, professor, who studied himorogi, iwakura; Yamada Hirokuni, shocho/manager Stock Data Systems, studied triangular alignments of shrines. Also Yamashita Hiromichi, “Haruka naru daichi Mu kara no Yogen” published by Tama Shuppan.

On p. 243, he states that we have the power to connect to energies. The ancient Japanese prevented earthquakes by praying. Their oinori saved Japan from sinking like the Mu continent. Here is a similar map we found on the Internet.


This image is from  http://whowont.com/wisdom/ley-line-maps/japan-line-map.html.

2020.01.01 Note: The name of mountain A in Hyogo has been corrected to Sengamine.