A shrine with its own original culture
Sumiyoshi-taisha is the main shrine for the nation’s 2300 Sumiyoshi shrines, boasting a history of 1800 years. The honden main hall is separated into four structures with the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd main shrines built in a row, and the 4th built across from the 3rd, a highly unusual configuration. Called the sumiyoshi-zukuri style, the shrine’s buildings have been declared a National Treasure, and the special form is the oldest of its type in the history of shrine architecture. The Kakutorii stone gate has the feature of being a Sumiyoshi Torii with its square pillars. The Taiko-bashi Bridge has a grand arch and its purpose is to cleanse people of their sins before they approach the gods. It is reminiscent of a rainbow as a bridge connecting the lands of Man and Gods. The Important Cultural Property of Ishibutai (stone stage) is one of the three great stages of Japan, and every May, there is a performance of court dance and music held there. There is the Onda rice paddy which measures 2000 square meters where actual rice is cultivated without any pesticides in the hopes for a huge harvest. Aside from the honden on the grounds, there are many auxiliary and subordinate shrines that are related to Sumiyoshi-taisha.
The power spot of Sumiyoshi-taisha
The Goshogozen is a sacred area in the shrine. When Empress Jingu had searched for land to worship the great gods of Sumiyoshi, it is said that three white egrets landed in a cedar tree and it is this place where she worshipped them. There are small stones in the stone wall there which have the kanji characters for “five”, “big” and “power” written individually on them, and when they are collected and protected, the person will be endowed with strength, knowledge, wealth, fortune and long life and will have any prayers answered. At the conferment place in the honden, exclusive cases are sold
The Hattatsu Mairi
The Hattatsu Mairi, known as an original belief, is performed for prosperity in business and safety for the family. On the first Day of the Dragon every month, there is a customary pilgrimage to each of four subordinate shrines, and at the end of every 4 years, if the pilgrimage has been performed 48 times, prayers will be answered. At one subordinate shrine, Nankun-sha, the ornaments of shofuku neko (good luck cats) are popular as they raise their right paws on even-numbered months for wealth and their left paws on odd-numbered months to invite customers.