okikamuro island fan club|Kamuro party


shoji matsumoto 

Shoji Matsumoto

Owner of 'TAI_NO_SATO' guest house

Okikamuro island, roots

Autumn festival of Ebisu shrine

                     Shoji Matsumoto    received Oct. 28th 2014
Trasslated by Masatomo Yagi

Bulletin board says ‘Yodo ‘festval’. ‘Yodo’ means ‘thru night’ by dictionary.
Well then, I investigated about how and when Ebis shrine in okikamruo started.
bulletinboard in okikamuro
  There is old document ‘Bocho Fudo report’ (living status report in Bocho district). This document was prepared by Mr.Seifu Murata who was assigned as a member of improvement committee for country policies by Takachika the lord of Mori country.
This document recorded about map, industries, traditions, temples, shrines and other culture of all towns and villages in the country and this document issued at Tempo 12th(1841). This document is one of most reliable information sources at present.
According to this report, ‘Ebis shrine, this shrine locates at front of Susaki Hanajo village. God is “hirukonomiko”. This shrine is owned by Kawauchi in Shitata, owner of Shitata-Hachimangu shrine. ‘
At present, the shrine is located at Homura, but it used be located at the foot of Okikamuro big bridge. Before the bridge was built, ruin of shrine existed there. I felt it was very large shrine. This ruin shrine was disassembled when building the bridge.
At Meiji 5th(1872), the shrine was built on present place. Shrine’s history book says that this shrine was built for wishing prosperity of the island whose industries are mainly fishing and trading as a branch of Yamato country takaichi unate shrine.
Establishment date is not known. Shrine was built at Susaki in this island at beginning and moved to this place at Meij 5th(1872).
At Meiji 6th(1873), this shrine was belonged to Shitata hachimangu shrine.
At Meiji 36th(1903), this shrine became independent having own Shinto priest. The first Shinto priest is Katsuto Yamada.
Present shrine building was built about Taisho 10th(1921). At Taisho 7th(1918), chief priest and believer’s representative took travel for donation and they collected donation about 2400 yen in one month from Korea and Manchu(China) and more at next year Taisho 8th(1919), they went to Taiwan and they successfully collected donation 1800 yen in 20days.
And also there was many donations from Hawaii and United States. These stories were on ‘Towacho town history book’ written by Tsuneichi Miyamoto. Please check it.
If evaluate this donation to present value. Rice price at Taisho 10th(1921) was 35 sen 50 rin per 1 kg. Present rice price is 16000yen per 1 bale(60kg). This means 267yen per 1kg. therefore 267 yen equals to 35sen 50rin at Taisho 10th(1921). 1yen of Tasiho 10th(1921) = 7,743 yen at present.
Donations from Korea, Manchu(China) and Taiwan was 4200yen. If we apply this rate 7,743yen = 1yen to the donation, it becomes 32,520,600yen. Total donation becomes sum of donations from Hawaii and United states and this amount.
names of people who donated large amount are curved on shrine's stone fence pole.
Ebisu Shrine Ebisu shrine  Late Otake San(Otake shop owner, Mr. Takeo Otani) who was running fishing gear shop told me that in his young age, people in Okikamuro worked to make ground concrete firm by pounding ground with dropping big tree trunk from tower pulling rope by many persons at building the shrine.
People in Okikamuro call this shrine ‘Hachiman sama’. The chief shrine piest Yamada explained this nick name came from the fact that the Ebisu shrine was belonged to Shitata Hachiman shine group.
Well, then talking about what kind of god the Ebis-god is. He is first child of Izanami and Izanagi who are creator of world in Kojiki book(oldest history book in Japan).
However they released him to ocean because he was so weak like leech. He became god at the place drifted from ocean.
it looks unbelievable to lease baby into ocean, to send him to heaven using boat made by straws. But there is meaning that ‘come back after reborn’.
According to history record of the Ebisu shrine of Okikamuro, the shrine had been build as branch of Unate shrine in Takaich-gun Yamato country. At present there is same name town Utena-town in Kashihara-city. I’m not sure present Utena town is Utena shrine’s home town.

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