A sacred place for waka! "Suga Shrine" New Year's visit report

Did you all go to New Year's visit? I went to visit Suga Shrine in my hometown of Shimane. Suga Shrine, located in Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture, is actually a sacred place for waka poetry, known only to those in the know.

It is a famous story that in the age of mythology, Susanoo no Mikoto, who defeated the eight-pronged serpent, built a shrine (new house) with Princess Inada in the land of Izumo. The Suga Shrine that I visited was the one that Otome found ``refreshing''.

During the construction of the shrine, layers of beautiful clouds rise and envelop the shrine. Seeing this, Susanoo composed a poem.

``A double fence built in the same way as Yakumo's Izumo Yaegaki Tsumago.'' (Susanoo no Mikoto)

Yes, this poem, as you know, was the first ``waka'' written in 31 characters. Therefore, Suga Shrine is the birthplace of waka poetry and can be called the ``holy place of waka poetry''.
It's not Naniwa Tsu, Mt. Asaka, or even Omi Shrine. Suga Shrine in Unnan City, Shimane Prefecture, is a sacred place for waka poetry. By the way, Suga Shrine is also called ``Japan's first shrine'' because it was the first shrine built on the ground (Ashihara Chugoku).

As it is the birthplace of waka poetry, Suga Shrine offers waka poetry offerings. When you visit the shrine, please bring a song with you in advance.

Now, this Suga Shrine has a hidden inner shrine. This place can truly be called a sacred place among sacred places, after all, the ``Meotoiwa Rocks'' of the deities Susano-o-no-Mikoto and Kiinadahime-no-Mikoto are enshrined here. About 2 kilometers from the shrine building at the foot of the mountain, Meoto Iwa sits halfway up Mt. Yakumo.

The approach leading to it is called the ``Literature Monument Path'' and is lined with 60 monuments of poetry. Each poem carved into the rock adorns the steep mountain path, creating a mystical journey along the way.

Please look. This is the husband and wife rock of Susanoo-no-Mikoto and the strange Inedahime-no-Mikoto, and they have an overwhelming presence. The huge rocks that sit in the mountains are not only impressive for ancient humans, but also for us today. And it makes me think that Susanoo no Mikoto was definitely the first person to compose his waka in this area.

Did Susano-no-Mikoto in the Age of the Gods also see this scenery from Mt. Yakumo in the same way? When I think about it that way, I am deeply moved.

We introduced Suga Shrine, a sacred place that any waka fan should visit. When you visit Izumo, please visit Suga Shrine instead of Taisha or Yaegaki.

(Written by: Waka DJ Ucchi)

Learn the basics of waka poetry and try reciting it!

We are holding a "Utajuku" with the goal of learning from representative classical works and being able to compose traditional "Waka" on an individual basis!

季刊誌「和歌文芸」
令和六年冬号(Amazonにて販売中)

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