God of fire and God of land
It was in the year 927, when the name of ”Haruna Shine” appeared in the document titled ”Engi-shiki”. The name of this shrine never appears in documents written before this date, so it is difficult to go back to confirm the year of its establishment. However, it is also said that the shrine was built in the year 586, so the official year of establishment is yet unknown.
During the Age of Provincial Wars (Sengoku-jidai), the shrine lost its prosperity, but during the Edo period, it was restored by a high Buddhist priest named Tenkai, who served under three generations of the Tokugawa family (Ieyasu, Hidetada and Iemitsu). Later, the shrine belonged to ”Ueno Eikanji” during the syncretion of Shinto and Buddhism. It became an independent shrine in the Meiji Era when Shinto and Buddhism were separated.
Today, the shrine worships ”Homusubi-no-kami” (the God of fire) and ”Haniyamahime-no-kami” (the God of land).
The path surrounded by nature and wooden structures
The approach from the entrance to the main building is about 700 meters. Walking on a curved pathway, surrounded by a steep cliff and tall cedar trees, a waterfall suddenly appears on the surface of a rock. Nakata seemed to enjoy the walk as he looked up at the sky every so often.
The main building, endowed with decorations of multiple colors and a round copper roof, is designated an Important Cultural Property. The worship hall was built some time between 1700 to 1800, and many other structures within the shrine are designated as Important Cultural Properties as well.
We strolled through the property while enjoying the nature and beautiful wooden structures. It brought a peacefulness and purity by the time we reached the main building of the shrine.
Left photo: Zuijin-mon
- Haruna Shrine
- 849 Haruna-yama-cho, Takasaki-shi, Gunma
- URL http://www.haruna.or.jp/