Iwaya-Iwakage Megaliths

Photo inside Iwaya-Iwakage taken by IR.

This land where Jomon people lived has long been called Iwaya. Iwaya-Iwakage 岩屋岩陰 is the name of our group of megaliths. This is where I and my fellow rockbats dwell during the summer. This name means in the shade of the Iwaya cavern. Being inside the chamber is like being in a temple. Indeed, it is a temple to the sun. The people who built and utilized the iwaya surely considered it a sacred duty to connect with the power of the sun regularly on annual, seasonal, and daily intervals.

Of all three Kanayama sites, this is the most comprehensive and most advanced. It functions during all seasons of the year, although it is especially active during the winter season. This may seem odd, considering that its location is in a mountainous area. It does have the advantage of being situated on the north, that is, south-facing slope of the valley, and it is at an elevation several hundred feet above the bottom of the valley.

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