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Mountain Beliefs and Practices

Daisen Shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with Daisen, a mountain located in the western part of Tottori Prefecture, also known as Hōki Fuji. It consists of a number of peaks, including Misen, Tengugamine and Sankomine. The highest is Kengamine (1792 m.). The access route from the north starts from a s...

Dewasanzan Shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with three mountains of Dewa (in present-day Yamagata Prefecture): Haguro (419 m.), Gassan (1980 m.) and Yudono (1504 m.). This grouping became fixed sometime between the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries; before that, Yudono was considered the inner temple ...

Fuji shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with Mt Fuji, Japan's highest mountain (3776 m.), situated on the border of Shizuoka and Yamanashi Prefectures. Long worshipped as a sacred mountain, it is mentioned in two eighth century works, the Manyōshū and the Hitachi no kuni fudoki. Though the mount...

Hikosan shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with Mt Hiko, in the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu. Hiko is made up of three peaks: Minamidake, Nakadake, and Kitadake, the highest of which is Minamidake at 1200 m. Formerly "Hiko" was written with the characters , meaning "child of the sun"; in t...

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 (), a follower of the priest Shakusen, practiced there and ha...

Nikkōsan shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with the mountains of Nikkō, the composite name given to the mountains Nantai (2484 m.), Nyohō (2464 m.) and Tarō (2368 m.), situated in the north-western part of Tochigi Prefecture. The founder is said to be Shōdō Shōnin, who built Shi...

Ontake Shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with Mt Ontake in Kiso (Nagano Prefecture). It is a mountain cult chiefly supported by confraternities (kō) and religious organizations (kyōkai). It is not clear when Ontake began to be considered a sacred mountain but from the fact that it was of old call...

Ōyama Shinkō

Beliefs and practices associated with Mt Ōyama (1246 m.), in the eastern part of the Tanzawa range in Kanagawa Prefecture. Regarded as sacred since ancient times, it is also called Afurisan (Mt. Rainfall), because of the rain clouds that form around its peak, providing those who farm the land ...

Sangaku shinkō

Veneration of mountains founded on the view that they are sacred, as places to which the kami are considered to descend and dwell, and as places where the spirits of the ancestors (sorei) exist, including beliefs and the rites carried out in their context. Sacred mountains have been known in Japan ...

Tateyama Shinkō

Beliefs and practices surrounding Tateyama, the composite name given to a series of peaks found in Toyama Prefecture, the highest of which is Ōnanjiyama (3015 m.). Along with Hakusan it was an important Shugendō site and sacred mountain in the central western coastal region. The main peak...

Yoshino, Kumano Shinko

Beliefs and practices associated with the Ōmine mountains, stretching from Yoshino (Nara Prefecture) to Kumano, in the central part of the Kii Peninsula (Wakayama Prefecture). This area is the birthplace of Shugendō and its most important site. Yoshino was venerated from ancient times as ...

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