5/15/2005

Ishizuchiyama, Shikoku

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Ichizuchiyama, Ishizuchisan - a holy mountain in Shikoku
四国の石鎚山 . (愛媛県)1982m . Ishizuchisan


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Mount Ishizuchi (石鎚山 Ishizuchi-san) is a 1,982-metre-high (6,503 ft) mountain on the border of Saijō and Kumakōgen, in Ehime, Japan. This mountain is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan. It is the highest mountain in Western Japan.
..... It is known as 'the roof of Shikoku' and the sharp, rocky summit resembles a huge stone hammer (石鎚 ishizuchi).
..... Mount Ishizuchi is an important object of worship in this region and one of the major centers of Shugendō, a sect of mixture of Shintoism and Buddhism. At the top of the mountain there is a small shrine called the Ishizuchi Shrine.
This mountain is also known as one of Seven Holy Mountains (七霊山 nana reizan). There are several sets of heavy iron chains (鎖 kusari) leading up to the summit and this is the route many pilgrims opt to take, the longest set being 68m. However, it is possible to hike all the way to the peak along a trail which includes stairs and ramps with handrails.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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Tourist Information
Take the ropeway to the shrine, climb along a few difficult paths, hang on to three chain climbs till you reach the sacred shrine on the top.
The first chain climb 33 meters, the second 65 meters and the third one 68 meters.
一の鎖 33m ... 二の鎖 65m ... 三の鎖 68m
石鎚神社頂上社
- reference : 石鎚神社頂上社 -


Okumaegami-Ji おくまえがみじ 奥前神寺
第64番札所 奥前神寺(真言宗石鎚派総本山)
石鎚登山ロープウェイの山頂駅(標高1,450m)から徒歩約6,7分のところに奥前神寺があります。石鎚登山の前にここにお参りするのが古くからの習わしで、大師信仰と石鎚信仰の二つの霊地になっています。
.. .. 或ときは石峰に跨って、粮を絶って轗軻たり
http://www.ishizuchi.com/hike/okumae/index.htm


Ishizuchi Jinja Jooju-Sha, one of the four shrines
石鎚神社成就社 Ishizuchi Jinja Jujusha



石鎚山中腹(1,450m)にある石鎚4神社のひとつです。役行者が石鎚山開山の時、請願をなし、成就したことにより名付けられたとされる諸願成就の宮です。ここから天狗岳を望むことができます。付近にはお土産屋・食事処もあります。

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The Flowers of the Four Seasons 石鎚山の四季



- source : ishizuchisan.jp/mountain -

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Hookiboo Tengu, Hōkibō 法起坊天狗 Tengu Hoki-Bo, Hokibo
石鎚山法起坊 / 石槌山法起坊 - Ishizuchizan Hoki-Bo


He is one of the
. 四十八天狗 48 Great Tengu of Japan .


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Tengu-dake 天狗岳 Mount Tengudake
1982m




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Dedicated to gongen (deities with both Shinto and Buddhist forms), Mt. Ishizuchi is a pilgrimage site during the summer climbing season. The five-hour climb up and back is arduous. Near the summit, a series of chains aids the hiker in getting up the steep slope. Called Kusari Zenjo, this is the most important ritual site, symbolic of the difficult climb to enlightenment, represented by Ishizuchi’s highest peak, Tengudake,
which is home to a long-nosed mountain goblin (tengu) called Hokibo.


The deities of the mountain are depicted in statuary at the base ropeway station.
- source : apdl.kcc.hawaii.edu/roads -

Deities related to this mountain

大事忍男(おほことおしを)の神 Oogotoosho no Kami
石土毘古(いわづちびこ)の神 Iwazuchibiko no Kami

The mountain is related to En no Gyoja, the first ascet praying to 蔵王権現 Zao Gongen.
Later priest 石仙道人 climbed the mountain and bulit the shrine
Juujuusha 成就社 Juju-Sha midway up the mountain.

- quote -
Ishizuchi Shinkō
Beliefs and practices related to Mt Ishizuchi (1982 m.) in Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku.
Nihon ryōiki (ca 823) by Keikai, speaks of a practitioner called Jakusen who trained there, while Montoku jitsuroku (879) tells how Jōsen (上仙), a follower of the priest Shakusen, practiced there and had spirits and demons under his command.
Other ascetics whose names are connected with the mountain include Sekisen, Jōsen (常仙) and Busen. The influence of the Ōmine cult centering on Yoshino and Kumano is very strong.

In Ryōjin hishō (ca 1169), Ishizuchi is described as an abode of hijiri (holy men, magico-religious practitioners) of equal importance to Ōmine and Katsuragi. Kumano Gongen gosuijaku engi (in Chōkan kanmon, 1163) says that Kumano Gongen, having crossed from Mt Tiantai in China, took up its abode at Kumano after having stopped off at Hiko, Ishizuchi and Awaji. The Yoshino and Kumano divinities Zao Gongen, Kumano Gongen and the thirty-six Ōji are venerated at Ishizuchi.

Ishizuchi's founding legend, which appears in Shinzen kanjō keifu, says that En no Gyōja and his follower Hōgen opened the mountain and consecrated (kanjō) Kumano Gongen there.

During the Edo period the bettō (supervisory) temple Maegamiji in Saijō had control of the shrine-temple complex, and, with the patronage of the local domain, encouraged through local sendatsu the formation of Ishizuchi confraternities (kō) whose purpose was pilgrimage to the mountain. Such pilgrimage later became established as custom.
Another temple, Yokomineji in Komatsuchō, also supported the institutional growth of the Ishizuchi cult with the patronage of the Komatsu domain. The confraternities grew rapidly from the middle of the Edo period, expanding first in the provinces of Iyo (present-day Ehime Prefecture) and Bingo (in present-day Hiroshima Prefecture), and then extending to Tosa (present-day Kōchi Prefecture), Uwa (in present-day Ehime Prefecture) and Bizen (in present-day Okayama Prefecture).

Today the cult remains active over a wide area in Shikoku, Kyushu and Chūgoku. Konkō Daijin (Akazawa Bunji), the founder of Konkōkyō, was also influenced by it. As a result of the policy of separation of buddha and kami worship (shinbutsu bunri) in the early Meiji period, Ishizuchi Shrine came into existence and took over the cult, resulting in changes in traditional forms of worship.
After World War II, Ishizuchi Shrine established a legal religious body called Ishizuchi Honkyō, a Shugendō-type organization incorporating mountain pilgrimage confraternities which had existed from before the Meiji era. It venerates as its object of worship (saijin) Ishizuchi hiko no mikoto (Ishizuchi Daijin) and its activities center on beliefs surrounding the experience of climbing sacred mountains.

A number of Shugendō-type organizations have also formed centered on temples such as Maegamiji (head temple, Shingonshū Ishizuchiha), Yokomineji (Shingonshū Omuroha) and Gokurakuji (head temple, Ishizuchisan Shingonshū).
Until very recently the confraternities maintained traditions of pilgrimage to the mountain under the guidance of a sendatsu, rigorous purification exercises (kessai), the exclusion of women (nyonin kinsei) and the practice known as sakamukae (the welcome of practitioners by villagers as they emerge from the mountain). Believers follow the Kurokawa, Imamiya, or other paths past the sites of the gyōjadō (ascetics' hall) and nyonin-gaeshi (former limit of female access) up the mountainside to Jōju.

In the Edo period this was the site of the Jōjusha, the middle shrine of Ishizuchi Shrine, and Oku-Maegamiji, the inner temple of Maegamiji, as well as a large number of pilgrims' lodgings. The area from here to the summit, Misen, is sacred; important sites in this area include Zenshagamori, Tsurugiyama, Tenchūseki and Iwaya no Yakushi.
Further beyond these places is the most important ritual site, the chain ascent in three places, called Kusari Zenjō, which practitioners scale to reach the summit. From the shrine there, Okunimoya Chōjōsha, the route goes through Raigōdani, the uragyōba (rear practice site), to the highest peak, Tengudake, associated with a tengu (mountain goblin) called Hōkibō.

Kamegamori, rising to the east of Mt. Ishizuchi, has also long been a sacred site. Today the nearby temple Gokurakuji houses the image that had belonged to the former Tengaji, bettō temple of Ishizuchi Gongen up to the Meiji period.
The major festival of Ishizuchi Shrine lasts for ten days from July 1 and marks the opening of the summer climbing season. Large numbers of white-clad pilgrims, called dōsha, belonging to confraternities from Shikoku and Chūgoku, climb the mountain under the guidance of sendatsu. Even now the first day is marked by the exclusion of women (nyonin kinsei). At the time of the summer festival, three small statues of the kami (goshinzō) are taken up to the summit, and then down again. Pilgrims who accompany them pray for health and protection by having the statues rubbed on their bodies.
Another traditional practice that is maintained is the distribution of unique sendatsu talismans (efu), which act as certification for pilgrim guides.
- source : kokugakuin Suzuki Masataka -


source : toki.moo.jp/gaten - 865

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A special flower related to this mountain:



Arisaema ishizuchiense (イシヅチテンナンショウ)
- reference -


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