Tag Archives: sun

Hokuriku: Asahi and Yuuhi Shrines

2018-05-18 15.13.15 torii to bay

Toyama Bay from Asahi Jinja

Asahi & Yuuhi Jinja
These shrines are on the east coast of the Noto Peninsula in Toyama-ken. They are the morning and the evening shrines, for sunrise and sunset. The first enshrines Amaterasu/Amateru, and the other Toyouke Kami. We know from Woshite studies that Amateru was the grandson of Toyoke/Toyouke. They are respectively enshrined at Ise Jingu Naiku and Ise Jingu Geku. The Asahi and Yuuhi shrines are across highway from Toyama Bay. Both Asahi and Yuuhi shrine buildings were constructed in 1689.

Asahi  Jinja

Asahi’s first torii faces north. We measured the direction that the hall faces and it turned out to be 116 degrees SE. GPS readings were 36 degrees 55 min N, 137 deg 1 min E.
It is said that the kami of Ise Jingu, Amaterasu/Amateru was brought here before the Kamakura period (1185–1333). In olden days this shrine was revered as ubusu-gami, guardian of one’s birthplace. Both shrines are approached by a climb upwards and the prayer hall is on one’s right. The buildings are encased in glass (winters are extremely cold and snowy here) and so do not appear remarkable from the outside.
Just past the torii, we see the lanterns flanking the kaidan. So up we go. Along the way is this marvelous stack of stones.
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We reach the shrine hall and it looks very plain in its winter coat. But when we take a peek through the glass we see the lovely hinoki wood and a traditional capped hashira post.
Yuuhi Jinja

 

2018-05-18 15.39.45 Yuuhi Jinja
Yuuhi Jinja is 500 m north of Asahi. It is adjacent to a school which you can see in the background. Although this sando faces the bay in the east, the shrine building is facing a southwesterly direction, sitting on the rock of the low mountain.
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Yuuhi Jinja was formerly dedicated to Kunitokotachi, the earliest named kami. However, since Asahi corresponds to Ise Naiku inner shrine for Amateru, Yuuhi is considered the Geku outer shrine for Toyouke-kami.
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Happy New Year 2018! Happy Perihelion!

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Earth and sun via ISS Expedition 13/ NASA

Greetings of the New Year to All!

We on Earth have only a few weeks ago observed our December Solstice, when days are shortest in the Northern Hemisphere and longest in the Southern. It was the time of the New Year for indigenous people around the world. Now, we are celebrating the conventional New Year for our times at the beginning of the Western calendar in January.

Did you know that, on January 2 and 3, Earth will be closest to the Sun in our orbit around the Sun? This is always true around this time in our history. EarthSky writes:

On January 3, 2018, Earth at its closest point swings to within 91,401,983 miles (147,097,233 km) of the sun. That’s in contrast to six months from now, when the Earth reaches aphelion – its most distant point – on July 6, 2018. Then we’ll be 94,507,803 miles (152,095,566 km) from the sun.

In other words, Earth is about 3 million miles (5 million km) closer to the sun in early January than it is in early July. That’s always the case. Earth is closest to the sun every year in early January, when it’s winter for the Northern Hemisphere.

Do you wonder if the solstice and the perihelion, the closest approach of Earth to Sun, are related? This is not always true, because the dates change in the course of centuries. In fact, in the year 1246, both occurred on the same day. We are living in very interesting times…

Here’s the explanation from EarthSky.

Earth comes closest to the sun on January 3, 2018 at around 5:35 UTC; translate to your time zone. This event is called Earth’s perihelion. Meanwhile, the December solstice took place on December 21, 2017. At perihelion in January, Earth swings to within about 91 million miles (147 million km) of the sun. That’s in contrast to six months from now, when we’ll be about 94 million miles (152 million km) from the sun. At the December solstice, Earth’s Southern Hemisphere is tilted most toward the sun; it’s the height of summer in that hemisphere. Are the December solstice and January perihelion related? No. It’s just a coincidence that they come so close together.

The date of Earth’s perihelion drifts as the centuries pass. These two astronomical events are separated by about two weeks for us. But they were closer a few centuries ago – and in fact happened at the same time in 1246 AD.

As the centuries continue to pass, these events will drift even farther apart. On the average, one revolution of the Earth relative to perihelion is about 25 minutes longer than one revolution relative to the December solstice. Perihelion advances one full calendar date every 60 or so years.

December Solstice Greetings

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Megalith for viewing winter solstice sunrise (photo by S. Tokuda)

 

One Earth, One Sun, One People

In ancient cultures, winter solstice day was the beginning of the new year. On this shortest day of the year, people knew that the next day would start to be slightly longer, and spring would be coming. Winter solstice is a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

December 21 and 22 mark the days of the solstice which we call the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Iwakage has posted an article entitled, Winter Solstice 2017. It gives some of the dates and times in various time zones around the world. At the instant of time that is astronomical solstice, it is already early Friday morning of the 22nd in Japan, where Iwakage is located. One of the “earliest” times is in Hawaii when the solstice occurs at 6:28 a.m. on the 21st.

To our readers around the world, thank you for visiting us:

U.S., Japan, France, Italy, U.K., Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, India, Philippines, Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Belgium, Mexico, Switzerland, Estonia, Chile, Thailand, New Zealand, Serbia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Austria, S. Korea, Ukraine, Argentina, Finland, Romania, Poland, Taiwan, Switzerland, Slovenia, S. Africa, Israel, Greece, E.U., Norway, Cape Verde, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Peru, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Turkey, China, Iceland, Belarus, Croatia, Pakistan, Latvia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Venezuela, Panama, and eighty other countries.

Seeing the names of these 150 countries truly impresses upon us that we are all One People living on this Earth under our Sun. Solstices, equinoxes, and all the days of the year come to all of us. Although the times on our clocks may differ, these astronomical times are the exact same moment for all of us.

Okunomichi wishes every one of you a Happy New Year!

 

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