Ōmiwa Shrine

Shinto shrine in Japan

The Ōmiwa Shrine is a Shinto shrine in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, Japan.[1] It is unique because it does not contain any sacred objects or images, as it is dedicated to the nearby Mount Miwa.[2] People think its practice of using a Kannabi as its shintai is what original shrines did.[3] The shrine is also the patron of Japanese sake brewers.[4]

Ōmiwa jinja
Large torii in front of Mount Miwa
Mount Miwa
Location1422 Miwa, Sakurai-shi, Nara-ken
Ōmiwa Shrine is located in Japan
Ōmiwa Shrine
Shown within Japan
Geographic coordinates34°31′44″N 135°51′10″E / 34.52889°N 135.85278°E / 34.52889; 135.85278
Glossary of Shinto
Hall of worship

Architecture change

Second torii gate leading to the inner sanctuary

The Ōmiwa Shrine is in a peaceful forest and is built facing Mount Miwa. There is a very old Japanese cedar tree on the shrine grounds that people believe is holy. The shrine has Mount Miwa as its Shintai, which means that it worships the mountain as a deity, and it does not have a honden. It uses the mountain as a Kannabi[5]

Borromean rings motif

The buildings in the shrine are decorated with Borromean rings. These rings represent the three rings, which is significant because the word "Miwa" is written using the kanji for "three" () and "ring" ().

Miwa torii with a closed gate

The torii on the sandō of the Ōmiwa Shrine is very tall, measuring 32 meters and was built in 1984. It is the second tallest torii in Japan. The shrine also has an ancient gate called shime torii, made with only two posts and a rope known as shimenawa. The shrine has a unique feature known as a "triple-torii" or miwa torii. Unlike most torii gates, the miwa torii has doors that restrict access to the mountain that it enshrines..[4]

The buildings at Ōmiwa Shrine include structures that were built from ancient times up to the Edo period, which lasted from 1603 to 1868.

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References change

  1. Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1964). Visiting Famous Shrines in Japan, pp. 252-286.
  2. (in English) Ōmiwa Shrine site
  3. Tamura, page 21
  4. 4.0 4.1 Scheid, Bernhard. "Bekannte Schreine - Religion-in-Japan" (in German). University of Vienna. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  5. Tamura, Yoshiro (2000). "The Birth of the Japanese Nation". Japanese Buddhism - A Cultural History. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company. pp. 21. ISBN 4-333-01684-3.

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