Urausu Shrine in Urausu Town !

by Kazu

Urausu Shrine is at the south end of "IKOI no MORI Park" which  means "Comfort Forest Park" that I posted yesterday. The shrine is accessible from the roadside station "Tsurunuma" where quality mango fruit produced by Jinnai Farm 21 and Tsurunuma Wine made by Hokkaido Wine Company can be purchased.
But stairs from the roadside station to the shrine are very steep. I do not recommend to use this stairs when the surface is slippery. Without crawling up the stairs, the shrine and the natural blue flower garden made by ants can be reached by car and flat walk.  
Like other shrines in Japan, it has a pair of stone guardian dogs. One is opening its mouth and the other keeps mum about everything.
Those stone dogs may look like lions but they are dogs.

As you all may know, most of the people living in Hokkaido are the descendants of immigrants from the other islands of Japan. In many cases, the first immigrants put the name of their hometown to the land they settle in. And built the shrine as they had in their hometown.

But after a while, the immigrants recognized that so different kinds of deities were there. The deities were and are called "Kamui" by the indigenous people in Hokkaido, Ainu.
The deities might have seemed to be rougher than God in other islands of Japan. The immigrants had to fought against the wild nature of Hokkaido particularly the harsh coldness in winter. But they were also blessed by the fertile and powerful ground of Hokkaido.
The deadly coldness in winter helps the materials on the ground to be resolved and brings the bumper crop.
Do you know what is inside the shrine in each part of Japan?

It is said that in the worship of Japanese Shinto which is expressed as "the road of God" in Chinese character, three kinds of items are critical.  A round mirror, comma-shaped bead and a sacred sword.

If you expect an embodiment of Japanese God or the incarnation of the deity in the shrine, you may be discouraged. If there was a personification of God or deity, it might be you looked into the mirror on the altar. In any myths and religions, it is said that God made human beings as God is. We have to be careful in executing the power brought by the research of science compiled so far.

Do you know that the thick rope hung in front of the building of the shrine symbolize the snakes that are making love ? That does not mean Japanese people worship the snakes.  As agricultural people, we have to fend off mice and rats that eat up the crops in the warehouse and bring the plague. Praying for bumper crop, prosperity of our people, the symbol of ropes are hung there.
Have a nice weekend!

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