Monthly Archives: June 2016

Summer Solstice 2016

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Looking toward rising sun from inside lower grotto of Senkoku-ishi.

All photos are copyright of Shiho Tokuda, 2016.

Kanayama Megaliths made its latest post about summer solstice on June 27. You can find it here on the blogsite,  http://blog.livedoor.jp/kanayama_tour-kanayamamegaliths/archives/1058824709.htmlSince it is written in Japanese, we asked Shiho Tokuda for permission to show you some of her photos with our brief explanations. 

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Summer solstice arrived at Kanayama Megaliths on June 22, 2016. Three days before, namely June 19, sun rose around 5:40 from the mountains behind clouds. Although its light could be seen between the two megaliths, the sun barely lit a dim path between them (left photo).

The Senkoku-ishi site for summer solstice observations is seen in the early hazy light (above right). By 6:30 the clouds had moved away and sunlight cast a shadow of one megalith upon another (lower right). Note that in the lower right corner of the photo, sun is shining on the entrance to the lower grotto, and here’s a close-up (below). Normally, since this is the rainy season, the floor of the grotto would be filled with rainwater. Fortunately this year, it was dry.

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June 22, summer solstice day. The day dawned bright and clear. At 11:40 in the upper grotto, the beam of sunlight reached the floor and cast a beautiful oval spotlight. The shape, as usual, matched the shape carved on the outside of the megalith.

Summer solstice arrived 31 days after the dashed spotlight! The Kanayama Megaliths solar calendar still works!

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This upper grotto is the same observation location as for the dashed spotlight of May 21 which we reported upon earlier. You can see the triangular stone at the top of the photo.

The large photo at the top of this page shows how the rising sun looks from inside the lower grotto.

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Norikuradake 乗鞍岳 in Hida Mountains

The Hida Mountains (飛騨山脈 Hida Sanmyaku, Hida mounain range), or Northern Alps, extend through Nagano, Gifu, Toyama, and partially into Niigata  prefectures. Its length is 105km or 65 miles.

Norikuradake (乗鞍岳), or Mt. Norikura, plays a chief role in the story of Hida, as we have seen in the previous posts. Norikuradake at the southern part of the Hida Mountains is the third tallest volcano in Japan. Norikuradake’s name means “riding saddle” because of its shape.

The above photo from a postcard is a view to the east from Takayama. It shows the Hida Mountains, with northern part on top and Norikuradake, the southern part, on the bottom. The peaks and a plateau are labelled as follows. Take (dake in compounds) means peak; mine also means peak; taira means plateau. The coordinates are approximately 36 N 137 E.

Hida Mountains, top left to right (north to south):

双六岳 Sugoroku-dake (Sugoroku-game peak) 2860m
笠ヶ岳 Kasaga-take (Umbrella peak) 2898m
槍ヶ岳 Yariga-take (Spear peak) 3180m
大喰岳 O-bami-dake (Devour peak) 3101m
中岳 Naka-dake (Middle peak) 3084m
南岳 Minami-dake (south peak) 3033m
北穂高岳 Kita-Hotaka-dake  3106m
涸沢岳 Karesawa-dake (Dry valley peak) 3110m
奥穂高岳 Oku-Hotaka-dake 3190m
前穂高岳 Mae-Hotaka-dake  3090m

Norikuradake(乗鞍岳)is seen on the bottom half of the postcard. Its tallest peak is Kenga-mine. The labels are, left to right:

畳平 Tatami-daira 2700m
剣ヶ峰 Kenga-mine (Sword peak) 3026m
大日岳 Dainichi-dake (Dainichi is Buddhist deity)   3014m

This list of names, in Romaji and English, was graciously provided by Hitoshi Uchiyama.

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Hida Koku Part 6. Jomon Pyramids and Rituals

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Himurogatake, Kyoto (c) 2013

 

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Kuromantayama (c) 2011

 

The information below on pyramid mountains and pyramid rituals is from:  http://www.geocities.jp/mb1527/N3-01-1hidakoku.html.

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日本ピラミッド  Pyramids of Japan

In Hinomoto (old name for Japan) there are mountains that are said to be pyramids. Among them, on and around mountains, are 岩石祭祀遺構 boulder ritual remains. Fourteen of these pyramid mountains (and prefectures) are listed here.

大石神 Ooishigami(青森県 Aomori)・黒又山 Kuromantayama(秋田県 Akita)・

五葉山 Goyouzan(岩手県 Iwate)・千貫森 Sengenmori(福島県 Fukushima)・

尖山 Togariyama(富山県 Toyama)・位山 Kuraiyama(岐阜県 Gifu)・

石巻山 Ishinomakiyama(愛知県 Aichi)・東谷山 Tougokusan(愛知県 Aichi)・

三上山 Mikamiyama(滋賀県 Shiga)・三輪山 Miwayama(奈良県 Nara)・

日室ヶ嶽 Himurogatake(京都府 Kyoto)・葦嶽山 Ashitakeyama(広島県 Hiroshima)・

弥山 Misenyama(広島県 Hiroshima)・野貝原山 Nogaiharayama(広島県 Hiroshima)

[An annotated list of the above 14 pyramids and prefectures follows, not presented here. Then the text continues as below.]

To Hida from 越中国 Etchu province were conveyed many traditions that differ completely from other regions. These lore may seem to be occult as not many are in the academic tradition. However, they were spread from the nucleus of the region. Let us consider whether there is something here to become the nucleus, without being negative at the beginning.

ピラミッドは縄文祭祀   Jomon pyramid ritual

The center of the ritual is a pyramid. The Japanese pyramid is a mountain whose nature was modified by arranging the boulders; it is believed to have been used in sun rituals. There are many pyramids in East Japan where there are Jomon ruins in the vicinity. It is thought that these represent rituals of Jomon people. The Hida hidaki no mitama shizume ritual of Takaamahara is part of a sun faith. It was active at the time of Nigihayahi-no-Mikoto until the Yayoi era. Although he unified the Tokai and Kanto regions, they are a coastal area, whereas usually Jomon ruins are found close to mountains. Mononobe clan were settlers from along the Osaka Bay who made Yayoi settlements near the coast, and segregated from the Jomon people. Then they began to mix peacefully without friction.

However, that was not the case in inland areas. Jomon people made their sun faith using megalithic pyramids, so when Yayoi people tried to enter their land, friction arose. Shinano province struggled during the unification. Hida province is also a mountainous area and farming area is limited. The Jomon of Hida did not easily accept the unification.

Hida Takaamahara is believed in the lore to be the oldest dynasty in Japan. It can be argued that the Jomon people made a country in Hida. The Jomon people had flourished along Nyukawa with Norikuradake as their symbol. Because of climate change, they moved closer to Kuraiyama. The Jomon nation lasted for over two thousand years. Their stories became legends in Takenouchi and Hotsuma documents.

Hida is still a region where many have inherited the blood of Jomon. Jomon people were living in the mainstream, then the Yayoi people entered. The Jomon did not have any people referred to as king. However there were leaders in Hida that were called 上方様 Uakatasama, who probably led rituals mainly in the Jinzu river basin.

When did the Hida kingdom exist? It is completely unknown. It has been reported that the center moved, due to climate change, from around Norikura to around Kuraiyama. Since the great climate change for Jomon is about 4500 years ago, it may have been around that time. In the Takenouchi document there has been a Ugaya dynasty of 72 generations before Jimmu Tenno. In the Kuki document there has been a 1200 year history of 72 generations. Ugaya may have been written down in place of the Hida dynasty. As more and more people flowed in during the Yayoi era, the Hida people faced confrontation.

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Hida Koku Part 5. Takenouchi Documents

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Koso Kotai Jingu in Ibaraki, from http://www.kousokoutaijingu.or.jp/

In the Part 4 post,  https://iwakage.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/308/,  the history of Hida in the 竹内文書 Takenouchi documents was not presented.竹内 can be read Takenouchi or Takeuchi. We now give a brief summary of pertinent points from that part of the source article, http://www.geocities.jp/mb1527/N3-01-1hidakoku.html.

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History of Hida Takaamahara According to Takenouchi Documents

There was a coup d’etat during the reign of Emperor Buretsu. He was forced to hand over documents conveying the tradition of ancient Japan. To protect this literature, he secretly allowed it to go to Etchu Toyama. The old documents were transmitted to the Koso Kotai Jingu there, whose descendants are the house of Takeuchi. The ancient documents are written in jindai moji, script of the age of kami. They referred to the documents as 「御神宝」sacred treasure. Collectively the documents are the 竹内文書 Takenouchi documents or the Takenouchi literature.

There was a government trial during the time of World War II in which documents were submitted. Although there was acquittal, the submitted documents were not returned immediately and originals were destroyed by air raids.

In the Takenouchi literature, prior to Emperor Jimmu there were 72 generations of Sumera Mikoto. An ultra-ancient Japanese archipelago was the center of politics and culture in the world. And the center of it was a governance headquarters of the Hida-Norikura Takaamahara around the Jinzugawa in Toyama.

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Hida Koku Part 4. Mountains and Shrines

Sacred mountains and special shrines in Hida indicate that they have been arranged in a meaningful geometrical pattern. The mountains are sites of entombments and iwakura kami seats. Some are said to be pyramid mountains, deliberately shaped by humans. From  http://www.geocities.jp/mb1527/N3-01-1hidakoku.html.

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船山   Funayama

Funayama is called 久々野山 Kugunoyama, a mountain of height 1479m. It is also referred to as Hida Fuji. It towers on the opposite side of あららぎ湖 Araragi Lake and Kuraiyama. Although the ancient 天之浮船(あめのうきふね)Amenoukifune floating boat reportedly came down on Funayama, there is also a legend that says that Noah’s Ark arrived here. The name of the Ararat mountain of Noah’s Ark is similar to the name of the Araraki Lake. The summit has a Funayama shrine, revering the kami of rain. There is a Hachiman Shrine at the foot of Funayama enshrining 久々能智神 Kugunochi-kami. Takenouchi document has recorded the kami 天忍穂耳命 Ame-oshihomimi-no-mikoto as being entombed here. There are many megalithic groups. Petrographs have been discovered on boulders in the vicinity of the summit.

乗鞍岳(のりくらだけ)Norikuradake

Norikuradake is a mountain, part of the Hida Mountains (Northern Alps), altitude 3,026m at the main peak. In ancient times it was referred to as Awayama, millet mountain. The name Norikura reportedly comes from 祈り座, inori (prayer) kura (seat). The Norikura Hongu shrine (Norikura Motomiya, 鞍ヶ嶺神社 Kurakemine Jinja) is at the summit on the Hida side, and 朝日権現社 Asahi Gongen Sha on Shinano side, are built back-to-back.

日輪神社   Nichirin Jinja

The mountain itself is the object of worship. The enshrined kami is Amaterasu Omikami, the kami of the sun. This is the only Nichirin (Sun) shrine in all of Japan. The age of its founding is unknown. The Nichirin shrine is erected on an ancient pyramid in the center of Hida, from which the energy flows out to the surrounding area. A hill at the back of the shrine is also an artificial pyramid, it is thought. Boulders are grouped radially around the sun shrine, and pyramids are distributed; 16 pyramid mountains around Norikuradake are said to represent the sun shining. The shintai stone, the Taiyou sun stone is at the peak. The ancient pyramids — with stacked boulders, mirror boulder facing east, and offerings at the altar stone — reflected the light of the sun in a huge ritual facility, according to 日来神堂 Hiraimido [Pyramid theory of Sakai Katsutoki  (酒井勝軍)].

Sixteen mountains that can be considered pyramids are distributed around Nichirin Jinja. They are

位山 Kuraiyama、舟山 Funayama、洞山 Horayama、日ノ観岳 Hinokangaku、

拝殿山 Haidenyama、立岩 Tateiwa、御岳 Ontake、乗鞍 Norikura、

槍ヶ岳 Yarigatake、立山 Tateyama、天蓋山 Tengaisan、須代山 Sushiro-yama、

見量山 Mihakariyama、高屋山 Takayasan、金鞍山 Kanakurayama、松倉山 Matsukurasan(飛騨の里 Hida-no-Sato).

御皇城山 Omijinyama

呉羽山 Kurehayama is in Toyama city; it is also called 呉羽丘陵(くれはきゅうりょう)Kurehakyuuryuu, Kureha Hill. It is a hill in the Toyama Plain. Kureha is the name of the mountain of height 80m. In ancient times, there was a Koso Kotai Jingu imperial shrine called 御皇城山 Omijinyama. Literature transmitted to this Koso Kotai Jingu is the Takenouchi document. [http://www.kousokoutaijingu.or.jp/sub8.html] 

[History according to Takenouchi document not translated here. See Part 5.]

尖山  Togariyama

尖 (とがり)山 Togariyama is a triangular-shaped mountain of height 559m in Toyama Prefecture, Nakaniikawa District. Looking at the surrounding mountains toward Tateyama, you can see the strange apex of Togariyama. [There is a mysterious legend about Togariyama.] This mountain is said to be a pyramid. There is an iwakura at the summit that is shaped like a stone circle; it is said that there is a magnetic anomaly. Artifacts from the Bronze Age that seem to have been used in ritual have been excavated from the summit.

This location is referred to as a sacred place from ancient times; one can draw a large triangle around it. It is said that there is a high possibility that this mountain was built according to a plan.

Togariyama and Kuraiyama seem to be connected by a pyramid network. In the Takenouchi document, ヒラミツトhiramitto (pyramids) are where shrines were built. [Theory of Hiroshi Yamaguchi is presented, details omitted here. The three-sided triangle shape may have a power to radiate energy, and 瞬間移動 teleportation phenomenon might have been possible with Kuraiyama. ]

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Hida Koku Part 3. Kuraiyama and Dounosora Village

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Kuraiyama as seen from Dounosora Jomon village. (c) 2011.

Mt. Kurai, Kuraiyama, is a sacred mountain in Hida, attested to by the Dounosora ruins. Our rendition of  http://www.geocities.jp/mb1527/N3-01-1hidakoku.html continues.

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位山 Kuraiyama

Kuraiyama is the goshintai object of worship of Minashi Jinja. Folklore has this to say.

  1. The scepter tree, ichii no ki is used in the ceremony of Emperor’s succession to throne.
  2. Kuraiyama as a regional tradition:  “The lord of Kuraiyama is  a kami who enthrones Emperor Jimmu. The kami is said to have one body, two faces and four legs and arms. It could go through clouds in heaven (Amenomurakumo), riding a boat floating in the air (天空浮舟), and then descend  to the summit of the mountain.”
  3. Takaamahara is claimed by different regions in Japan, the oldest is Hida Kuraiyama. Amaterasu is said to be laid to rest on Kuraiyama.
  4. Emperor Jimmu, while climbing the mountain, met a kami with four hands and two faces  (Ryoumen Sukuna) who acknowledged Jimmu as emperor and thus gave the name kurai to this mountain.
  5. Kuraiyama is a watershed; to the north the Miyagawa becomes the Jinzu Rier and flows into Toyama Bay; to the south the Hidagawa flows into the Kisogawa and continues into Ise Bay.
  6. Next to it the ancient government road (Higashiyama kodo) passes by. There is part of a stone pavement today.
  7. At the foot of Kuraiyama are a number of megalithic groups. Some have evidently been worked on by man and are iwakura. Near the summit is an iwakura called Ama-no-Iwato. Many petrographs have been found in the area.
  8. It has been recorded that there was an omiya residence of an ancient emperor (Amaterasu) on Kuraiyama. The Takenouchi Komonjo is an ultra-ancient document transmitted in Etchu.
  9. Ootataneko-no-mikoto during the reign of Keikou Tenno wrote (the document Hotsuma Tsutae) that when Amaterasu was born, the placenta was cut by the ichii no ki from Kuraiyama.
  10. Kuraiyama is the sacred capital of Kunitokotachi and is said to be both the birth site and the tomb of Amaterasu.

堂之上(どうのそら) Dounosora Ruins

Dounosora Ruins are located in the highlands of Hida River upstream at an altitude of 700 m. Discovered by excavation in 1973 it is a typical Jomon village. It had been left in almost perfect condition on the plateau. In Dounosora, residences are placed in the form of a U with the direction facing Kuraiyama. Through ritual remains found here, it is confirmed that Kuraiyama had been worshiped.

The ruins are on a plateau overlooking the Hida River and have undergone little change in the terrain. Pit dwellings (43) surround the central square. Excavated relics include pottery, soil products, stone products and carbide. They indicate culture propagation and exchanges with East and West Japan. The timber of the pillars of the residences, carbonized material excavated from the ruins, was found to be chestnut material. Chestnut was also a food source. This medium term Jomon Hida region  shows strong cultural exchange between Hokuriku and Shinano/Tokyo, the east and Pacific Ocean. 

The Dounosora Jomon knew how to cope with the intense cold. This site is surrounded by steep mountains located in inland Hida and maximizes the geographical conditions to the north, south, east and west.

These ruins indicate that Kuraiyama was the royal capital of the Hida dynasty.

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Hida Koku Part 2. Takaamahara

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from Yamamoto Kenzo, Hida: Roots of Nihon

Hida is the name of an old province in the now northern part of Gifu Prefecture. This place name is exceedingly old, as tradition indicates. Our rendering of http://www.geocities.jp/mb1527/N3-01-1hidakoku.html continues.

高天原 Takaamahara (Taka-ama-hara, High Field in the Sky, sometimes read as Takamanohara, Takamagahara) is a term in Japanese mythology indicating a sacred place where special people called kami lived. Tenson korin is a myth of a kami named Ninigi-no-mikoto who “descends” to “earth” from the Takaamahara in the sky.

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飛騨高天原  Hida Takaamahara

Hida Takaamahara folklore exists in the Hida region. This Takaamahara tradition is older than that of other areas; indeed, it is the first of them.

The Hida region has an unusually large number of Jomon ruins corresponding to the culture from the southern tip of Baikal Lake [from whence original migrants came]. Hida ruins are similar to the Jomon culture seen in western and eastern Japan. There is a high concentration of Jomon blood even now in Hida. It can be said that a Hida country was present in this area.

There is a tradition in Hida that the tenson korin legend is that of Ninigi-no-mikoto descending to Kyushu from Hida. Old ruins often support it. We will explore the reality of the Hida Takaamahara lore by considering Jomon ruins. 

飛騨高天原伝承 Hida Takaamahara Lore

The Hida Takaamahara lore we present here is an excerpt from Kenzo Yamamoto’s “Guide to Ancient Japanese True History and its Ideology of Country-making.”

The ancestors of the Japanese were the first people to live at the foot of Mt. Norikura. The family that became the head originally spread from Hida throughout Japan.

Takaamahara is in Hida; its central government of the whole area is at the present Nyukawa-mura (Gifu), Miyamura, Kuguno-machi, Takayama-shi. The Uakatasama family lived at the foot of Norikura. Kunitokotachi and Isanagi also lived in the area. This family led to the Imperial Family of Sumera Mikoto. The people of the land called Norikura “Awayama” or “millet mountain.”

In the land of Nyukawa of Hida, people would create a pond for storing water in the forest. They would gather around the pond to calm the soul while staring at the reflection of the sun in the water. This ritual is called “hidaki no mitama shizume”, “embracing the sun and calming the soul.” This ritual was being performed up until about 130 years ago. There were 18 shrines of Hidaki-no-miya around Norikura, but their names have been changed to 伊太祁曽神社(いたきそじんじゃ)Itakiso Jinja shrines. The shrines were located so that Norikura could be seen. A pond where this ritual was performed is still on Mt. Norikura. “Hidaki” later became “Hida”. [“Hida” is now written in kanji as 飛騨 with characters denoting “flying dappled grey horse” and no longer refers to embracing the sun.]

With changes in climate, the people moved from the land of Norikura to the land of Kuraiyama. The top of Mt. Kuraiyama is a sacred place with iwakura (kami stones), dedicated to generations of Sumera Mikoto such as Kunitokotachi and Amaterasu. When disturbances broke out in Kyushu, Amaterasu sent the young Ninikine-no-Mikoto to Takachiho to handle it, along with a large number of people from Hida Takaamahara. This was the tenson-korin according to Hida lore.

Although we can learn the Hida version of the Takaamahara legend through this tradition, there are many traditions from other regions that do not agree with it.

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