Hida Koku Part 2. Takaamahara

roots-mitama-shizume

hidaki no mitama shizume

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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