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AOSHIMA JINJA
(Aoshima Shinto Shrine)

Hikohohodemi no Mikoto
The Enshrined Deities Toyotamahime no Mikoto
Shiotsutsu no Ookami

Aoshima Shinto Shrine is dedicated to Hikohohodemi no Mikoto (or * Yamasachi Hiko), to Toyotamahime no Mikoto, and to Shiotsutsu no Ookami. * (Yamasachi means mountain products" Hiko means "man")  The origin of Aoshima Shrine is unknown but there is a record that peple revered the shrine as early as the Heian Era in the ninth-century A.D.
 Aoshima shrine is supposed to give a divine blessing,especially to those who want to be married.

WAX MUSEUM OF THE MYTH OF HYUGA

SCENE 1
A long long time ago, high above the clouds in heaven, the gods who created Japan were chatting together. Amaterasu-Ohmikami, the greatest of all the gods, said to her grandson Ninigi-no-Mikoto, "Take this ear of rice and the three sacred treasures of a mirror, a necklace of beads and a sword and go down to earth. Try to make Japan a better nation."
So, Ninigi-no-Mikoto left heaven and descended to a place called Takachiho, in the Hyuga province of the Chikushi area.

SCENE 2
Ninigi-no-Mikoto built a house near Takachiho and settled there. There he met the very beautiful Princess Konohana-Sakuya and wanted to marry her. So he asked her father for permission. The father said " If you want to marry the princess, you will have to marry her elder sister Princess Iwanaga as well."
So Ninigi-no-Mikoto was given two princesses. But he did not want the elder sister because she was not beautiful and sent her back home. She got very angry and laid a curse on all living creatures, both the children of the gods and the children of human beings to make them mortal.
Princess Konohana-Sakuya got pregnant quickly. But Ninigi-no-Mikoto was suspicious. Princess Konohana-Sakuya got very depressed at this and set fire to her room, saying that the baby would survive if he was Ninigi-no-Mikoto's real child.
Out of the fire, three male children were born, Honosusori-no-Mikoto,
Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto and Hoakari-no-Mikoto.




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SCENE 3
The eldest boy, Honosusori-no-Mikoto was also called Umisachi-hiko as he was good at fishing in the sea. Another, Hikohohodemi-no-Mikoto, was also called Yamasachi-hiko as he was good at hunting in the mountains.
One day, the two brothers decided to exchange equipment. Umisachi-hikowent hunting in the mountains and Yamasachi-hiko went fishing in the sea. But both failed to catch anything. And Yamasachi-hiko got into trouble by losing the fishhook he had borrowed from his brother.
Yamasachi-hiko broke his sword into many pieces of new fishhooks for
Umisachi-hiko. But Umisachi-hiko would not accept any of them, and never forgave his brother.

SCENE 4
Yamasachi-hiko went on looking for his brother's fishhook and was puzzled by not being able to find it. An old man called Shiotsuchi-no-Oji came by and asked him why he was in trouble. When Yamasachi-hiko explained why, the old man built a boat and told him to go on it to the world of the sea.
As instructed by the old man, Yamasachi-hiko got into the boat and went deep under the sea.

SCENE 5
In the world of the sea, Yamasachi-hiko climbed a large tree in front of the palace of Watatsumi-Toyotama-hiko, guardian of the world of the sea. While he was there, Princess Toyotama came to the well to draw water. Startled to see a man in a tree, Princess Toyotama rushed back home and told her parents, "I saw a man in a tree when I went to the well to draw water. He looks noble and I am sure he is a very distinguished person." The god of the sea asked Yamasachi-hiko who he was. Yamasachi-hiko replied that he was the child of a god who had descended from heaven.

SCENE 6
The god of the sea welcomed Yamasachi-hiko as an important guest, with much feasting and dancing. After a while, Yamasachi-hiko married Princess Toyotama and they lived together in the palace of the sea god.

SCENE 7
Three years passed. Having seen Yamasachi-hiko sigh from time to time, Princess Toyotama asked him if he wanted to go home. Yamasachi-hiko admitted that he did. So, Princess Toyotama asked her father for advice.

SCENE 8
When he heard the account from his daughter, the sea god gathered together all the fish in the world of the sea to find the fishhook Yamasachi-hiko was looking for. They told the sea god that the sea bream had not come, because he had a pain in his mouth.
So the sea bream was called in. In his mouth was the fishhook. The sea god
removed it.

SCENE 9
Now that the fishhook was found, Yamasachi-hiko was able to return it to his brother. As he was about to leave for the earthly world, Princess Toyotama said to him, "Our baby will be born soon When I go into labor I will come to find you. So, please build a house there and wait for me."
Yamasachi-hiko went back to the earthly world, carrying the fishhook and two magic balls given to him by the sea god.

SCENE 10
Yamasachi-hiko went back to the earthly world, and threw the fishhook back to his brother, as the sea god had instructed. But Umisachi-hiko got angry and refused to accept it. Yamasachi-hiko took out one of the magic balls. The tide came in and almost drowned Umisachi-hiko. Umisachi-hiko begged Yamasachi-hiko, "I was wrong. From now on, I will obey you. Please help me." Yamasachi-hiko took out the other magic ball, the tide ebbed away and Umisachi-hiko was saved from drowning.

SCENE 11
Yamasachi-hiko, feeling relieved, started to build a house for Princess Toyotama. However, before it was completed, Princess Toyotama came to him and told him that the baby was about to be born. She went into the house, warning him not to come and watch. At first, Yamasachi-hiko waited outside patiently. However, eventually he lost patience and looked inside. He found a huge shark giving birth to a baby.
Princess Toyotama's true form had been revealed to Yamasachi-hiko. She was
heartbroken and went back to the world of the sea, leaving behind her newborn baby. The baby named Hikonagisa-Takeugaya-Fukiaezu-no-Mikoto, was brought up by Princess Toyotama's younger sister, Princess Tamayori.
He grew up and married Princess Tamayori who had brought him up. They had four children together: Hikoitsuse-no-Mikoto, Iinahi-no-Mikoto, Mikeirino-no-Mikoto and Kamuyamato-lwarebiko-no-Mikoto.



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SCENE 12
The four children grew up. One day, Kamuyamato-lwarebiko-no-Mikoto said to his brothers, "Our ancestors came down to earth to make Japan a better nation. But there are still places we don't know. Shiotsuchi-no-Oji suggested that we should go East. So, let us go to east and make that place the center of Japan."
So, the four headed East, over mountain and sea, for years. During their long
journey, they often had to fight enemies. When they finally reached their destination, Kamuyamato-lwarebiko-no-Mikoto was the only one left.
He had to go fight a last battle. But his brothers had gone and could no longer
protect him. When he felt that he could fight no more, the sky suddenly became dark as pitch and a shining gold kite flew down to land on the tip of his bow. The enemy was dazzled by the light and could fight no more.
So Kamuyamato-lwarebiko-no-Mikoto won the last battle, made Kashihara now called Nara into the center of Japan, became the first Emperor, called Jinmu and made Japan a better nation.

PLANTS and ROCKS

About 27 kinds of tropical and subtropical plants and 197kinds of nontropical plants all native to Aoshima flourish on this island. Aoshima is surrounded by wash-board rocks.

These rocks are called "Oni-no-sentaku-ita or"the Giants Wash-board." Both the plants and the rocks have been recognized by the Japanese government as being of great natural interest.

AOSHIMA ISLAND

 This is island,which is about one and half kilometers incircumference, is connected to the main islandby a bridge.It is located just offshore in Hyuganada, or the "Sea of Hyuga ."*(Ao means"green" or "blue" shima means"island.")

FESTIVAL

* Sea Crossing festival

  This annual summer festival of Aoshima shrine is held on June 17th, and 18th, according to the lunar calendar. On June 17th, boats carry the"Mikoshi" or "portable shrines"in a parade accompanied by many fishing boats decked with "TairyoBata"flags that traditionally indicate a big catch.
The festival reaches its climax after the 2-hour
sea parade when young people clad in "happi" or"happy coats"rush into the sea to take the portable shrines off the boats and carry them back to the land. It is a highly spirited and energetic festival with many prayers offered for abundant crops and good fishing.

*   Winter festival

  An interesting festival is heId here in January.
It is said that when Yamasachi suddenly ruturned from the Dragon Palace in the Sea Country,delighted, naked people met him in the sea.
  On the day of the festival December 17th,according to the lunar calendar, people go into the sea naked inspite of the cold.

AOSHIMA SHRINE
2-13-1 AOSHIMA
MIYAZAKI-CITY
JAPAN 889-2162
PHONE
Office 65-1262

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