Juni-jinja Shrine (Tenri City) (十二神社 (天理市))
Juni-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Tenri City, Nara Prefecture.
The shrine is a ronja (shrine considered to be predecessor of a shikinaisha) of a shrine registered in the Engishiki Jinmyocho (a register of shrines in Japan), 'Yatsugi-jinja Shrine in Yamabe County, Yamato Province' (other ronja are Yatsugi-jinja Shrine in Otogi-cho, Tenri City and Yatsurugi-jinja Shrine in Tainosho-cho, Tenri City).
Juni-jinja Shrine enshrines the following 11 Kaminoyonanayo (seven generations of the deities' world, The Primordial Seven) deities described in Nihon-shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan) and Amaterasu-omikami. As the number '12' is read 'juni' in Japanese, the name 'Juni-jinja Shrine' derives from the fact that the shrine enshrines twelve deities. In the Edo period, this shrine was referred to as "Juni-sha Daimyojin Shrine."
The shrine is in the remotest northeastern part of Takenouchi village, an uncommon moat settlement in the Nara Basin, which is located in the highlands at an altitude of 100m or more. Meanwhile, the moat of Takenouchi village has still remained in the west of the village.
According to a tradition, Juni-jinja Shrine's current land of Sagizuka-ike Pond in Takenouchi village, was exchanged with that of Yatsugi-jinja Shrine which enshrines the ubusunagami (guardian deity of one's birthplace) of Otogi village during the Edo period. Takenouchi village had originally enshrined Hakusan-jinja Shrine (Hakusan Gongen-sha Shrine) as Ubusunagami that was merged with Juni-jinja Shrine in the Meiji period.
there is a holy stone in front of the haiden (worship hall) and it is the custom at Juni-jinja Shrine to circle it three times while laughing "waha ha" before offering prayers. Nanahashira-jinja Shrine and Taga-jinja Shrine are keidaisha (auxiliary shrines within the precinct of the main shrine).
An area to the north of the shrine is called 'Hi-no-tani' (lit. fire valley) by locals.
The shrine's name of 'Yatsugi-jinja Shrine' comes from that of 'Yatsurugi-jinja Shrine.'
The above-mentioned 'Hi-no-tani' is presumably relevant to Yatsurugi-jinja Shrine, because the place name 'Hi-no-tani' (same pronunciation, but literally meaning 'sun valley') often appears in the story explaining the shrine's founding of Yatsurugi-jinja Shrines nationwide.