The following text is a slightly modified machine translation and may have some unnatural parts.

==Why Hamada remains in the countryside==

"The survey of Japanese Legend Vol. 11 Sanin (Tottori / Shimane)" contains some legends of "Itsukushima Myojin" in the classification of "Achievements of Gods and Buddha". It extends from Ochi county to Hamada city and former Naka county, but in summary, why is Hamada still in the countryside?

Itsukushima Shiren at Orii town

Itsukushima Shiren at Orii town


Itsukushima Myojin originally lived in Iwami country. It is said that this was the case with Kamimoto (from Miho to Kootoshi) or Murodani in Misumi Town. Itsukushima Myojin loved this land a lot.

Itsukushima Myojin, the goddess of water, goes to her dock every day and goes out to the sea on a boat.

However, the goddess had trouble walking to the dock on a daily basis. She doesn't want to move because the goddess likes her dwelling. She has trouble walking casually. After thinking about this and that, Itsukushima Myojin decided to turn the land around her residence into the sea.

"I like this land. I'm going to turn here into the sea," the goddess told the people around her. Then the peasants united that it would be a problem if their land sank into the sea. The peasants set fire around the house of Itsukushima Myojin and expelled Itsukushima Myojin.

In a hurry in a sudden fire, Itsukushima Myojin took her two-year-old boy and ran away with a folded woven fabric in her hand and nothing but what she was wearing.

On the way, at Orii Village, the goddess said, "If you let me live here, I will make the lives of the villagers easier for the rest of your life." However, she was banished because she was coldly refused by the villagers.

Then the goddess continued to run in the mountains of the Chugoku region. But her woven thread was caught in a twig and pulled out, and her legs were cut with kaya leaves (thatch) and covered with scratches.

When the goddess finally reached the beach, she saw an island in front of her. Itsukushima Myojin decided to live there when she crossed the island. This is Miyajima island in Hiroshima.

Then the leaves of Kaya where Itsukushima Myojin hurt her leg had no thorns. Also, it is not possible to bring a two-year-old child to Miyajima island. If you take it, something will happen on the way and you will have to turn back. That is because Itsukushima Myojin had a difficult time along the way.

And the land that expelled Itsukushima Myojin will never develop.

Murodani Rice Terraces Murodani Rice Terraces

Murodani Rice Terraces

The above synopsis is a mix of the legends of Misumi, Murodani, and Orii. According to the analogy of Ochi county, Itsukushima Myojin was a pregnant woman on the way back to Miyajima island from the gods gathering at Izumo. Some say she was laughed at by the villagers.

The statement "I like this place. I'm going to turn here into the sea" is a leap of ideas and interesting.

==Legend of Kuromatsu, Gotsu City==

There is an island named Oshima (big island) in the sea from Atoji town to Kuromatsu town in Gotsu City. The legend about Oshima island is recorded in "Legend of Izumo / Iwami Japanese Legend 48" (78 pages).

When the goddess of Miyajima island heard that there was an island named Oshima (big island) in Iwami and came all the way to see it, Oshima island was just a small island. The goddess of Miyajima was disappointed, but an island emerged next to Oshima island. That is Mejima island.

The goddess of Oshima island is the elder sister of the goddess of Miyajima, and it is said that the annual festival will be one day earlier than Miyajima island.

Oshima isaland and Mejima at Kuromatsu Oshima isaland and Mejima at Kuromatsu Oshima isaland and Mejima at Kuromatsu

Oshima isaland and Mejima at Kuromatsu

Itsukushima Shrine at Atoji town

Itsukushima Shrine at Atoji town

==The surplice of lotus thread of Ryuunji temple==

A beautiful woman appeared in the dream of chief priest of Ryuun-ji Temple in Misumi Town. She described herself as Itsukushima Myojin. And because her house was on fire, she asked him to water the big rock on the approach to Ryuun-ji. After waking up, chief priest called out to the monks and made them water the big rock on the approach. It is said that when they gathered to work the next morning, Itsukushima Myojin appeared and put in a surplice woven with lotus thread.

Ryuun-ji Temple at Misumi town Ryuun-ji Temple at Misumi town

Ryuun-ji Temple at Misumi town


Itsukushima Myojin is probably the Three Goddesses of Munakata, but it is interesting that the images are quite different. I experienced cutting limbs with kaya leaves when I was a kid, but it may not be felt by children living in the suburbs of the city.

If you check on the map, there is a shrine on Oshima island in Gotsu City, and Itsukushima Shrine on the opposite bank, Kuromatsu.

To reach Itsukushima Shrine in Orii town, Hamada City, take National Route 9 to Prefectural Route 303 immediately. It is a narrow road that runs from Orii to Murodani, and the width of the road is just one lane, so be careful. There is a square in front of the shrine, so you can park there. When I visited, I parked my car in front of JR Orii station and walked.

Looking at the access analysis, there was access from the Tohoku region. The people of Tohoku were hit hard by the Great East Japan Earthquake. In the Sanin region, "let's turn here into the sea" is a funny story, but it is a serious story for the people of Tohoku.


  • * 『出雲・石見の伝説 日本の伝説48』(酒井董美, 萩坂昇, 角川書店, 1980)p.78
  • * 『日本伝説大系 第11巻 山陰(鳥取・島根)』(野村純一他, みずうみ書房, 1984)pp.52-54
  • * 『角鄣経石見八重葎』(編集・発行者 石見地方未刊行資料刊行会, 1999)p.108
  • * 『三隅地方の神話と伝説』(寺井実郎/編, 三隅時報社, 1960)pp.45-47