Sumiyoshi Shrines

. Osaka Sumiyoshi Shrine amulets and toys .
. Sumiyoshi Kaido 住吉街道 Sumiyoshi Kishu Highway .

Sumiyoshi Jinja 住吉神社
Sumiyoshi Shrines in Japan

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There are many shrines with this name all over Japan.

Sumiyoshi Grand Shrine
(住吉大社, Sumiyoshi-taisha)

is a Shinto shrine in Sumiyoshi ward in the city of Osaka, Japan.
It is the main shrine of all the Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan. However, the oldest shrine that enshrines the Sumiyoshi Sanjin, the three Sumiyoshi kami, is the Sumiyoshi shrine in Hakata.

It is called "Sumiyoshi-san" or "Sumiyossan" by the locals, and is famous for the large crowds that come to the shrine on New Year's Day for hatsumoode.

Sumiyoshi Taisha enshrines the Sumiyoshi Sanjin -- Sokotsutsu no Onomikoto, Nakatsutsu no Onomikoto, and Uwatsutsu no Onomikoto -- and Okinagatarashihime no Mikoto (Empress Jingū), and they are collectively known as the "Sumiyoshi Ōkami", the great gods of Sumiyoshi. Another term is "Sumiyoshi no Ōgami no Miya".

It gives its name to a style of shrine architecture known as sumiyoshi-zukuri.

The shrine became the object of Imperial patronage during the early Heian period. In 965, Emperor Murakami ordered that Imperial messengers were sent to report important events to the guardian kami of Japan. These heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines including the Sumiyoshi Shrine.

Sumiyoshi Taisha is also regarded as the ancestor shrine of Hachiman shin 八幡神, the god of war, as the taisha enshrines Empress Jingū, who was the mother of Emperor Ōjin, who was deified as Hachiman.

Although Sumiyoshi Taisha is currently completely landlocked, until the Edo period, the shrine riding grounds (currently Sumiyoshi Park) faced the sea, and was considered the representative of the beautiful "hakushaseishou" (white sand and green pines) landscape. So much so that this type of scenery in designs and art is known as the Sumiyoshi design. In Murasaki Shikibu's The Tale of Genji, the shrine is used as an important stage in some chapters concerning the Akashi Lady.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Sumiyoshi Myojin 住吉明神  Great Deity of Sumiyoshi
and Matsuo Basho at Fukushima
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Jinguuji 住吉神宮寺 Sumiyoshi Jingu-Ji .

. Uwazutsunoo, Nakazutsunoo, Sokozutsunoo .


There are many rituals in the various shrines,
most of them are KIGO for haiku.

Let us look at some here.

kigo for the New Year

CLICK for original link and more ... blogari.zaq.ne.jp
Sumiyoshi tooka sechi-E
住吉踏歌節会 (すみよしとうかせちえ)
Dance and poetry banquet at Sumiyoshi Shrine

January 4 in Osaka
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The dance is a tradition taken from China, where the dancers stamp their feet in rhythm.
Sumiyoshi tooka shinji 住吉踏歌神事(すみよしとうかしんじ)
fukumochi shinji 福餅神事(ふくのもちしんじ)
"ceremony of auspicious mochi rice cakes", Good Fortune Mochi Ritual

In front of the kami, the fukuromochi yaku (bag holder), carrying a bag filled with small rice cakes (mochi), and the zubae yaku (plum branch holder), carrying a small plum branch, both repeat movements resembling bugaku dance.
During this time, the zubae yaku cries out, "Fukuromochi!" and the bag-holder replies, "Ō tomo yō!" After repeating this three times, the bag-holder counts the mochi inside the bag and intones "Manzairaku" three times. Finally, the distribution of the mochi to the onlookers takes place.
The fukuromochi ("mochi in the bag") seems to be associated with fukumochi ("good-luck mochi").

A ritual of the same name is held on January 11 at Atsuta Jingū in Atsuta Ward, Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. It is said to convey dance songs (tōka, tooka) that were popularly performed at the imperial palace during the Heian period.
A person playing the role of attendant (beijū) sings saibara songs, then dances solo with an uzue (magical staff) as a torimono (prop). Then the kōkoji (court dancers in tall white hats) hold their furizutsumi (rattle drums) high and shake them. Because of the sound made by these drums, this ritual is also commonly called the berobero ritual. This sound is said to foretell whether the year's harvest will be good or bad.
source : Mogi Sakae, Kokugakuin University, 2007

. Atsuta Shrine 熱田神宮 .


Sumiyoshi no o-yumi 住吉の御弓 (すみよしのおゆみ)
Sumiyoshi o-yumi shinji 住吉御弓神事(すみよしおゆみしんじ)
Sumiyoshi mikechi shinji 住吉御結鎮神事(すみよしみけちしんじ)
Sumiyoshi ontarashi 住吉御弓(すみよしおんたらし)
On January 13.
First ritual shooting with a bow.
First the head priest shoots an arrow, then members of the Ogasawara style 小笠原流 of kyudo (kyuudoo 弓道) archery have a go.
After that, members of the Osaka Kyudo Group have a big competition.



kigo for early spring

ichiya kanjoo 一夜官女 (いちやかんじょ)
court lady for one night

. . . . . ichiji jooroo 一時上臈(いちじじょうろう)

February 20 (Sometimes January 20)
at Nozato Sumiyoshi Shrine 野里住吉神社

CLICK HERE for more photos:
source : www.jinjacho-osaka.net

Seven girls from the parishioners are choosen to perform the duties of a shrine maiden (miko). They had to serve special mochi ricecakes and food to the deities in seven special barrels.
They had to pretend this was a human sacrifice, singing "hihi" to the deities.
The food was

Once upon a time
a very poor village lay beside the river Yodo. Because the river often flooded causing damage to the village, the villagers tried to appease the God by sacrificing a young girl every year. In the seventh year of this practice, a brave samurai heard about the tragic story and offered himself to be sacrificed instead of the girl for the seventh year. He was placed into a coffin and left at the shrine.
The next day, a body of large baboon lay on the precinct covered with blood. But the samurai had disappeared.
At this Shinto shrine, this legend has been passed down as a festival in which seven girls are blessed with good fortune and health. There will be a procession of the girls and their families followed by a festive ceremony and a dance by shrine maidens on this day.
source : /archives.kansaiscene.com



kigo for mid-summer

Sumiyoshi no o-taue 住吉の御田植 (すみよしのおたうえ)
rice platning at Sumiyoshi

..... onda 御田(おんだ)"fields of the Gods"
..... o-taue, otaue 御田植(おたうえ)
Sumiyoshi odori 住吉踊(すみよしおどり)Sumiyoshi dance
yaotome no ta mai 八乙女の田舞(やおとめのたまい)
young women dancing and planting rice on the sacred rice paddies of the shrine (onda).
July 6.
This goes back to a legend of the Gods having fields planted in this area. In former times, the courtisans of the pleasure quarters of Osaka would come and walk around the sacred field in a splendid and colorful parade. Then 24 girls would plant the rice.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. gannin boozu 願人坊主 mendicant monks .
and the Sumiyoshi Dance


kigo for late summer

Sumiyoshi no o-harai 住吉の御祓 (すみよしのおはらい)
purification ritual at Sumiyoshi

Sumiyoshi matsuri 住吉祭(すみよしまつり)Sumiyoshi festival
Sumiyoshi nansai 住吉南祭(すみよしなんさい)
Sumiyoshi summer festival
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Sumiyoshi nagoshi no o-oharai
great summer purification ritual at Sumiyoshi
Sumiyoshi no higawari 住吉の火替(すみよしのひがわり)

. . . CLICK here for festival Photos 住吉祭り !

Summer Purification Ceremony (nagoshi) KIGO

Tsukudajima Sumiyoshi matsuri
Sumiyoshi festival at Tsukudajima, Tokyo

Tsukuda matsuri 佃祭 (つくだまつり)


kigo for late autumn

Sumiyoshi no ichi 住吉の市(すみよしのいち)
market at Sumiyoshi

Sumiyoshi sumoo e 住吉相撲会(すみよしすもうえ)
sumo wrestling at Sumiyoshi

At Hakata, Fukuoka, prayers for a good harvested are offered.
Young children in traditional robes parade in the city, the next day horse riding and shooting (yabusame) and wrestling (sumoo) is offered.
相撲会祭(すもうえさい) 福岡市博多

takara no ichi 宝の市 (たからのいち)
"treasure market"
masu ichi 枡市(ますいち)masu measure cups market

. Masumasu Daruma 升々だるま measuring cups .


Rituals at Sumiyoshi shrines

Water for Purification
"Sumiyoshi-no-o-yu" (Sumiyoshi Bath)

iwashi no atama yaki イワシの頭焼き grilling 1000 sardine heads
Sumiyoshi Shrine in Hiroshima

. Dai Dai kagura, Matsumae Kagura 松前神楽  
Sumiyoshi Shrine in Otaru, Hokkaido


Shintō yūrai no koto

. . . it is said that Izanagi and Izanami have three male children (the Sun god, Amaterasu, the moon god, and Susanoo) and one female child (Hiruko). Hiruko arrives in her boat at the palace of the Dragon king, who raises the child for some years and then sends it back; but because the Dragon king has no domain on land, he assigns the high waters of Sumiyoshi as the domain of Hiruko.
The Shintōshū concludes the passage with a note that this is the deity venerated in Nishinomiya, and celebrated in an autumn festival of fishermen under the name of Ebisu.

Sakamoto Tarō. Shintōshū. Vol. 1. Shintō taikei. Bungakuhen. Tōkyō: Shintō taikei hensankai, 1988, pp. 2-3.
- source : Prof. Dr. Raji C. Steineck -

Izanagi and Izanami
The two decided that they wished to unite—often interpreted as marriage—but their first attempt at sexual union resulted in a deformed child, Hiruko (“Leech Child,” known in later Shintō mythology as the god Ebisu),
- source : global.britannica.com -

Izanami and Izanagi
However, during this sacred marriage ritual Izanami wrongly spoke first when they passed each other and as a consequence of this impiety their first child was a miscarriage and born an ugly weakling without bones. This was the god Hiruko (later Ebisu) who would become the patron of fishermen and one of the seven gods of good luck. Hiruko was abandoned by his parents and set in a basket for the sea to take it where it would. The second child was the island of Awa . . .
- source : Mark Cartwright -


Sumiyoshi Shinko ... Sumiyoshi Faith

The faith related to the shrine Sumiyoshi Jinja, which includes guardianship over safe sea travel, waka poetry, agriculture, and fishing.
The Nihonshoki records that "Sokodsutsunoo no mikoto, Nakadsutsunoo no mikoto, and Uwadsutsunoo no mikoto are Sumiyoshi no ōkami". Most of the Sumiyoshi shrines in Japan worship these three kami along with the Empress Jingū who received instruction from the three kami regarding her military expedition to the Kingdom of Silla on the Korean peninsula.

Envoys to China (kentōshi) made pilgrimages to Sumiyoshi Taisha in Settsu (Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City) before boarding their boats, the government made offerings to the shrine, and the bows of envoy ships were furnished with places to worship Sumiyoshi (Manyōshū, Nittō guhō junrei kōki).
The Jinmyōchō section of the Engishiki records seven Sumiyoshi shrines. Apart from the shrine at Harima (Kamo-gun, Hyōgo Prefecture), all of the shrines west of Settsu are listed as "famous shrines" (myōjin, myoojin, myojin – written either as 名神 or 明神). Often non-Sumiyoshi shrines paint Sumiyoshi Taisha on boat ema (funaema) they receive as offerings. From this we know that there was fervent Sumiyoshi faith related to sea travel among all classes, from aristocrats to commoners. Munakata Taisha (in Munakata-gun, Fukuoka Prefecture) also has a faith related to the safe sea travel of envoys to China (kentōshi).

Sumiyoshi Taisha in Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City, famous for its worship of the three kami of Sumiyoshi, has appeared in works of literature.
Sumiyoshi is also famous as a kami of waka poetry. Renga and haiku poets were devotees, and poetry contests (uta awase) were held at the shrine.
There is a story in Ise Monogatari where the kami appears and recites a waka poem. The Hachiman engi, which tells of the Empress Jingū's Silla expedition, was made into a hanging painting which was used for "illustrated storytelling" (etoki), and the story later became an otogi-zōshi (fairy-tale). The protagonist of the otogi-zōshi Issun bōshi was a "child born as the result of prayers" (mōshigo) to the kami Sumiyoshi Myōjin, and this story suggests the development of a new faith.

In the same way, the otogi-zōshi "Sumiyoshi engi" elaborates on the spiritual "efficacy" (reigen) of Sumiyoshi Myōjin, and the belief spread widely that the "original deity" (honji) of Sumiyoshi Myōjin was Ugayafukiaezu no mikoto. In literature relating to the Sumiyoshi Myōjin faith, the kami is depicted as an old man or as a young child wearing red clothing. Sumiyoshi appears in the form of an old man in the famous yōkyoku (Noh script) Takasago about the spirits of two pine trees (Sumiyoshi and Takasago) that stem from the same root.

From the Edo Period till the current day, this story is told at weddings to celebrate the newlywed's long life together. Sumiyoshi Taisha has a festival called the Otaue Matsuri (O-taue matsuri .. the "rice planting festival") from which we know that the faith also had an agricultural element.
source : Nogami Takahiro . Kokugakuin University. 2007


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toojin / karabito mo miyo ya taue no fue daikoo

a foreigner watches
the rice planting too ...
flutes and drums

Kobayashi Issa at Sumiyoshi Shrine

Because it alludes to a "foreigner" (or "foreigners"), this haiku is reminiscent of one written in 1793, when Issa was visiting Nagasaki:

kimi ga yo ya karabito mo kite toshi-gomori

Great Japan--
a foreigner also attends
the year's end service!

In this earlier haiku, the foreigner was most likely a Dutchman.
The present one, written in Issa's home province, has the prescript, "Sumiyoshi": a Shinto shrine in Osaka. Is he remembering another brush with the foreign that he had in Sumiyoshi?

R. H. Blyth thinks that karabito in this haiku of 1819 refers to the Chinese ("Men of Cathay"); A History of Haiku (Tokyo: Hokuseido, 1964) 1.350, overleaf.
Tr. and Comment - David Lanoue


Aome Daruma Market, Sumiyoshi Jinja

青梅だるま市 住吉神社

every year on the May 2 and 3, this market takes place.

Here is a wonderful link of Wada san with music and great pictures.


Burning old Daruma Dolls on New Year

Look again at this great page of Wada san for more smoke and flames.
Thank you, Wada san.


. Oome 青梅 / おうめ Ome village Tokyo .

In Aome (Aoume, Oume, Ome), another speciality is a
Oume Princess Daruma.
Hime Daruma made in the Kanto area are rather special.



. Sannoo matsuri 山王祭 (さんのうまつり) Sanno Festival .
Hiyoshi matsuri 日吉祭(ひよしまつり) Hiyoshi shrine festival
sarumatsuri 申祭(さるまつり)monkey festival


There is a memorial stone of a haiku by Matsuo Basho at the entrance of the Sumiyoshi shrine in Osaka.

masu katte funbetsu kawaru tsukimi kana

I bought a measuring box
which made me change my mind
about moon viewing . . .

Basho spent the evening of the "later moon viewing" at the estate of Hasegawa Keishi 長谷川畦止亭.
The year is Genroku 7, 9th lunar month, 13th day.
There was a special market for masu at the shrine and Basho bought one.
He fell ill soon after visiting the market,and could not enjoy a haiku meeting for the full moon night.
This was his "greeting haiku" for the meeting.

This hokku has the cut marker KANA at the end of line 3.

The Sumiyoshi Market sells a lot of household utensils to our day and was already famous in the times of Basho.
Masu come in various sizes, and are used to measure rice grains, beans and other dry goods. Smaller ones are also used to have a drink of sake.

. Masu 升 measuring cup .

Matsuo Basho
. Komojishi shuu 薦獅子集 Komojishi Shu Collection .
A collection offered to Sumiyoshi Shrine 住吉神社 in 1693.
Compiled by his disciple Hasui from Kanazawa 巴水.
There is also a Yasue Sumiyoshi Jinja 安江住吉神社 in Kanazawa.


. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

Fukuoka 福岡県 博多区 Hakata ward

筑前住吉神社一夜の松 the pine tree growing over night at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Chikuzen
In the year 1439, branches of matsu 松 a pine tree hit the face of the Lord during the construction of a new Shrine and the tree was cut down. But Oh wonder, it grew back to its former size over night.

Fukushima 福島県 いわき市 Iwaki city

Fukushima, Iwaki, Onahamasumiyoshi, Sumiyoshi−1
. Oni playing kubihiki 首引き "neck pulling" .

Ibaraki 茨城県 鹿島市 Kashima city

daija 大蛇 a huge serpent
A huge serpent came to live at 住吉神社 Sumiyoshi Shrine.
The animal soon moved to the pond in the compound, but the pond dried out soon.

Mie 三重県

. 猪田村住吉神社 Inodamura Sumiyoshi Jinja 猪田村営 Inodamura no Miya / 猪田神社 Inoda Jinja .

Osaka 大阪府 住吉区 Sumiyoshi ward

sazare-ishi, sazare ishi さざれ石
boulder grown from pebbles

. Sumiyoshi Kaido 住吉街道 Sumiyoshi Kishu Highway .

Yamaguchi 山口県 小野田市 Onoda city

inugami イヌガミ Wolf Deity
. Sumiyoshi Kaido 住吉街道 Sumiyoshi Kishu Highway .


- reference : Nichibun Yokai Database -


- #sumiyoshi #sumiyoshijinja -


Unknown said...

konna kawaii daruma ga aruno desu ne!
kanshin simashita.


anonymous SH said...

It was the Chinese who gave Japan a written language and heavily influenced her poetry, especially the poets of the Tang Dynasty.

Gabi Greve said...

Sakai no tsuchi ningyoo 堺の土人形 clay dolls from Sumiyoshi Shrine in Sakai, Osaka
also called
minatoyaki tsuchi ningyoo 湊焼土人形 clay dolls from the harbour town

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

mochi tsuki ya matsu no Sumiyoshi Daimyoojin

pounding mochi rice -
the pines at Sumiyoshi
Daimyojin (shrine)

about the Myojin deities of Japan

Gabi Greve said...

Sumiyoshi san 住吉さん Sumiyoshi Shrine amulet
from Marugame, Kagawa

Marugame was once the first access to Shikoku Henro pilgrims and Konpirasan pilgrims coming from the Main Island of Japan.
The Sumiyoshi San brings good luck - 福招き fuku maneki .
It was sold on the third day of the New lunar Year at 威徳寺毘沙門天 the temple Itoku-Ji in honor of Bishamon Ten.

Gabi Greve said...

in the Noh Haku Rakuten the Sumiyoshi deity appears unequivocally as a Shinto god
FISHERMAN (transformed into SUMIYOSHI NO KAMI, the God of Poetry).

Sea that is green with the shadow of the hills in the water!
Sea Green Dance, danced to the beating of the waves.

(He dances the Sea Green Dance.)

Out of the wave-lands,
Out of the fields of the Western Sea


He rises before us,
The God of Sumiyoshi,
The God of Sumiyoshi!


I rise before you
The god--


The God of Sumiyoshi whose strength is such
That he will not let you subdue us, O Rakuten!
So we bid you return to your home,
Swiftly over the waves of the shore!
First the God of Sumiyoshi came.
Now other gods have come--

Of Isé and Iwashimizu,
Of Kamo and Kasuga,
Of Kashima and Mishima,
Of Suwa and Atsuta.

And the goddess of the Beautiful Island,
The daughter of Shakāra
King of the Dragons of the Sea--
Skimming the face of the waves
They have danced the Sea Green Dance.
And the King of the Eight Dragons--
With his Symphony of Eight Musics.

As they hovered over the void of the sea,
Moved in the dance, the sleeves of their dancing-dress
Stirred up a wind, a magic wind
That blew on the Chinese boat
And filled its sails
And sent it back again to the land of Han.
Truly, the God is wondrous;
The God is wondrous, and thou, our Prince,
Mayest thou rule for many, many years
Our Land Inviolate!

Gabi Greve said...

Tsukudajima Edo

tsukikage ya koko ni sumiyoshi no Tsujidajima

this moonlight -
here at Sumiyoshi Shrine
at Tsukuda Island
Tr. Gabi Greve

. Takarai Kikaku 宝井其角 (1661 – 1707) / 榎本其角 Enomoto Kikaku .

Gabi Greve said...

Shirahige Daimyoojin 白鬚大明神 Shirahige Daimyojin / 白鬚明神
Maybe another name for Sarutahiko.
Maybe one of the Sumiyoshi deities.

Gabi Greve said...

Tokyo Sumiyoshi Jinja 住吉神社 Sumiyoshi Shrine
1-1-14, Tsukuda, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Tsukishima Area 月島地区 - Chuo ward

Gabi Greve said...

shinshi 神使 messenger of god, divine messenger
kami no o-tsukai 神のお使い / 神の使い

at Sumiyoshi Taisha is
usagi 兎 rabbit / hare


Gabi Greve said...

Sumiyoshi no Kami 住吉の神, Funadama no Kami 船玉の神
In 房総 Boso (old name for Chiba), 住吉の大神 the great Kami of Sumiyoshi is venerated as 船玉神 Funadama no Kami.
神功皇后 Empress Jingu Kogo during her war in Korea venerted this deity. All the Kami came to her help and produced a favorable wind. When she was back in Japan, she verneated the Kami at 摂津住吉 Settsu Sumiyoshi Shrine in Osaka. .

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Fukuoka
博多区 Hakata ward

筑前住吉神社一夜の松 the pine tree growing over night at the Sumiyoshi Shrine in Chikuzen
In the year 1439, branches of matsu 松 a pine tree hit the face of the Lord during the construction of a new Shrine and the tree was cut down. But Oh wonder, it grew back to its former size over night.