Kashima Shrine (Kashima Jingu)
Kashima Jingu is a shrine dedicated to the Shinto Kami Takemikazuchi-no-Okami (武甕槌大神), one of the deities of martial arts. This venerable shrine was established in the first year of Emperor Jimmu (Jimmu-tenno) started to reign in approximately 600BC.
[Kashima tori’s feature is Cylindrical pillars and a circular of coping , both ends are cut diagonally. And its transmural is protruding out of the pillar in the timber]
[Romon (two-storied gate) of Kashima jingu]
In ancient times, it was revered as a base of the Ezo expedition (蝦夷), and as a guardian god of Japan during the Nara and Heian periods. During the medieval and the early modern periods, samurai quickly rose to power for the deity of war. Thus, Kashima shrine was honored and worshiped by numerous military commanders like Yoritomo Minamoto and Ieyasu Tokugawa.
[Kashima jingu main shrine building]
Regarding Kashia shrine, the aspect of Honden (main shrine building) often selected as a popular topic of conversation.
This is because from the point of view in architectural history, it is said that a main shrine building should be facing the south or east. On the other hand, Kashima Shrine’s main building is clearly facing the north.
Generally, honden should be faced to the visitors when they walk through the gate. But in case of Kashima Shrine, not only honden but Okunoin is facing north. Therefore, worshipers will see them on their right.
Usually, you see this type of layout in keidaisha (shrines within the compounds of other shrines), but in terms of the main shrine building is normally built facing toward its sando. (Sando is the road used for visiting the shrine or temple and also believed to be the path the god walks on.)
It is said that this unique arrangement derived from the temperament of the forefront of Ezo who didn’t obey the Yamato Court.
Such construction style can be seen every other Kashima Jinja in Japan. (There are about 600 shrines with the name of “Kashima”.)
You can’t miss another excitement that is only available here. There are many power spots believed to have benefits and grace to those who visit there not to be missed like Kaname-ishi or Mitarashi-ike in this vast sacred area.
[When you toss your offertory and can put it on the Kanameishi, you will have a luck]
[Wave-style architecture of Okunomiya]