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Words-and-Pictures: Mishima Taisha

(as seen on September 16th, 2001, on the Old Tokaido stage of the Aki Meguri)

Note: This major Shinto shrine, after which the city of Mishima was named, is in Shizuoka Prefecture.  It is Station #11 (from Tokyo) on the Old Tokaido Highway.  You can read about my visit to Mishima Taisha in my Logbook.  You may also choose to start reading about my Tokaido journey at the beginning, or start at the top of my Aki Meguri pages.

Although dating is difficult with such places, this shrine is said to have been formally instituted more than 800 years old.  (One tree on the grounds is claimed to be more than 1,200 years old.)  The main buildings, however, were reconstructed in the early Meiji period (late 19th century).  According to the shrine's English brochure, the shrine covers 50,000 square meters.  Truly a Grand shrine.

The main gods, by the way, are Oyamazumi-no-kami, the God of (productive) land, and Kotoshiro-nushi-no-kami, the God of (bountiful) sea.  According to the brochure, these two "bless the village people with a rich harvest and a big catch."

Here are the shrine's main buildings: The kagura stage for sacred dance, and the honden behind.
Inside the honden were lots of baby blessings going on.  Outside were the obligatory photo sessions.

You often see young children with their parents at shrines.  This one is feeding the koi (see below).
This dad and his little girl were dancing on their way out toward the big torii.

This miko (shrine maiden--really just a volunteer, like a youth-group member) is taking down a flag that was hanging in front of the honden.
Here a priest (or perhaps another volunteer) walks down a corridor toward the front of the shrine's enclosure.  Like most shrines, Mishima Taisha boasts all-wood construction--in this case, zelkova.

Between the torii and the main precinct is a pretty pond with this small shrine in the middle.  (The fish-feeder above was standing on this bridge.)
Other things to be found in the pond: the ever-present turtles...

...and a frenzy of koi whipped up by the fish-feeder above.
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