Kono-jinja Shrine (籠神社)

Kono-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine located near Amanohashidate in Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture. It is Shikinai-sha (shrine listed in Engishiki (an ancient book for codes and procedures on national rites and prayers)) (Myojin Taisha (shrines that enshrine gods known as Myojin)), the supreme shrine of Tango Province, and formerly ranked as a Kokuhei-chusha (middle-sized national shrine) (presently classified as a Beppyo-jinja (special independent shrine) by the Association of Shinto Shrines). As one of the Moto Ise (shrines or places where the deities of Ise Jingu Shrine were once enshrined), it is also known as Moto Ise Kono-jinja. The shrine is also known by the names Moto Ise Konpon-gu, Naiku Gengu, Komori Daigongen and Konomiya Daimyojin.

Enshrined Deities
The main enshrined deity is Hiko Hoakari no Mikoto (also known as Ameno Hoakari no Mikoto, Amaterasu Mitama no Kami, Amateru Kuniteruhiko Hoakari no Mikoto and Nigihayahi no Mikoto), which is enshrined along with Toyouke no Okami (also known as Miketsu Kami), Amaterasu Okami, Watatsumi no kami and Ameno Mikumari no Kami.

There are various legends regarding the main enshrined deity and texts including "Tangonokuni Shikishasho Jikko" (Lectures on Tango Shrines Noted in the Engishiki) claim it to be Izanagi no Mikoto (one of the two deities principally responsible for the formation of the world). This arises from the legend that the ladder, used by Izanagi no Mikoto to ascend to the heavens, collapsed and became Amanohashidate.

The shrine legend tells that Toyouke no Okami was originally enshrined at Manaihara (now the site of the external sessha (auxiliary shrine (dedicated to a deity close-related to that of a main shrine)) Okumiya Manai-jinja Shrine) and the shrine was named Yosano Miya. According to 'Toyouke no Okami Gochinza Hongi', one of the "Shinto Gobusho" (5 books of Shinto), Amaterasu Okami relocated to Yosanomiya from Yamato Kasanui no Mura during the reign of Emperor Sujin and received a sacred food offering from Toyouke no Okami. Four years later, Amaterasu Okami moved to Ise and, later, Toyouke no Okami moved to Ise-jingu Shrine.
Due to above, the shrine became known as 'Moto Ise.'

In 719, the shrine was relocated from Manaihara to its current location, and Hiko Hoakari no Mikoto was enshrined as the main deity alongside Toyouke and Amaterasu, and the name of the shrine was changed to Kono Miya. The original site at Manaihara became the sessha (secondary shrine) Okumiya Manai-jinja Shrine. Watatsumi no kami and Ameno Mikumari no Kami were later enshrined alongside the existing deities. Legend has it that the shrine was named 'Kono Miya' (lit. basket shrine) as the enshrined deities appeared in the snow on a basket.

Engishiki Shinmyo Cho (shrine name book under Engishiki) lists the shrine as 'Kono-jinja Shrine of Yona-gun, Tango Provence,' classifies it as a Myojin Taisha, and describes that paper or silk offerings were left each month and during the harvest festival.

The Amabe clan of Shake (family of Shinto priests serving a shrine on a hereditary basis), who are believed Hiko Hoakari no Mikoto to be their ancestor, has conducted services at the shrine since its founding and now they are in their 82nd generation. During the eastward expedition of Jinmu, 4th generation priest Yamato no Shukune no Mikoto appeared riding a tortoise in front of Emperor Jinmu and guided him to Yamato Province. The genealogy of the Amabe clan' has been designated a National Treasure.

Subsidiary Shrines
Subsidiary Shrine External to the Main Precinct
Manai-jinja Shrine, Okumiya (the rear shrine), is located in the site of approximately 400 meters northeast of the main shrine, where Kono-jinja Shrine were originally located.

It does not have a main hall but there are two iwakura (rocks in which kami dwell) behind the worship hall. The main iwakura on the right enshrines the main deity Toyouke no Okami as well as Mizuhanome, Hoko Hoho Demi no Mikoto and Kamiyo Godaishin (神代五代神, literally, five deities in the Japanese Myth period). The western iwakura on the left enshrines the main deity Amaterasu Okami as well as Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto.

The shrine name 'Manai' derives from the sacred water known as 'Manai-no-Mizu' that wells up from within the shrine precinct.

Subsidiary Shrines within the Main Precinct
Sessha: Ebisu-jinja Shrine (Ho-ri, Yamatono Sukuneno Mikoto)
Sessha: Amaterasu Sumeo-jinja Shrine (Nigimitama (Deity's peaceful soul) or Aramitama (Deity's rough soul) of Amaterasu Okami)
Sessha: Manai Inari-jinja Shrine (Ukanomitama, Ukemochi, Toyouke Hime): This shrine stood at Okumiya Manai-jinja Shrine until the end of the Meiji period and was rebuilt within the precinct of the main shrine in 1991.
Massha (subordinate shrine) : Kasuga Daimyo-jinja Shrine (Kasuga no Kami)
Massha: Sarutahiko-jinja Shrine (Sarutahiko (an earthly deity))

[Original Japanese]