鎮守山 Chinjyu-san and Sacred Forests

Photo of Chinjyu-san in May by ST.

Let us look further into 鎮守山 where Ryoumen Sukuna stopped to pray. Here is a dramatic view of the hall on the yama. What does Chinjyu-san really mean? 鎮 this kanji, pronounced “chin” is read “shizumeru” and it means to become calm, to be at peace. 守 this kanji is “jyu” and it is read “mamoru”, to protect. Thus, this mountain is a place which provides solace for the soul and sets it at peace, a secluded place for rest and contemplation.

You may know the term, 鎮守の森 Chinjyu-no-mori. It is commonly called a sacred forest but now we know the deeper, more precise meaning, don’t we? Many shrines have a protected area which is called the chinjyu no mori. This is a concept that we in the West may take to heart. Let our forests also be protective places where the soul can find peace and tranquility. 

chinjyusan_NOV.  Photo of Chinjyu-san in November by ST.

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