Hana no Iwaya
|Hana no Iwaya Amulet
Hana no Iwaya Shrine
World Heritage, Kumano City,
Hana no Iwaya (flower cave)
History of Shiraishi Amulet
The boundary edges of a sacred place are called, kuma dori. The city name, Kumano comes from the word, kuma. In ancient times, the Kumano area was a respected sacred place. Four World Heritage sites are found in the Kumano area, which is considered an important, unique region of the world.
Hana no Iwaya is one of the World Heritage sites in the area. It is the oldest shrine in the world and was written about in the Nihon Shoki (Chronicle of Japan). Hana no Iwaya is a mother of a god.
This site has an Imperial mausoleum for Izanami no Mikoto and is a very important sanctuary for the ancient faith. It is located at the root of three mountains in Kumano.
On the opposite side is found Oji no Iwaya or Sei no Iwaya where Kagutsuchi no Mikoto, the god of fire is enshrined. This is the original place for Oki-Shinko or Prince Faith.
The name, Hana no Iwaya (flower cave) is derived from the worship of a god which is covered with seasonal flowers. At Otsunakake days (February 2nd and October 2nd), fans are hung by ropes in the cave, which is called Hana no Iwaya.
This amulet has a flower shaped motif made of kinpu, pure woven gold and ginpu. This is the first time in the world this type of amulet has been produced.
White stones from Shichirimihama are placed in the gods’ place, Hana no Iwaya. As this is a sacred place, the gods are enshrined on the shiraishi (white stones). When people have a bumper crop they feel the connection to an unseen supernatural presence, or god’s blessing. People believe they can receive the power of god by having this amulet.
||Hana no Iwaya Shrine
130 Uechi Arima-cho, Kumano City, Mie Prefecture, 519-4325, Japan
||Kumano-city Station, Tokusanhin kan
656-3 Ido-machi, Kumano City, Mie Prefecture, 519-4324, Japan
JR Kisei Main Line, Kumano City station