‘Meoto-iwa’, a pair of rocks , one large, one small, can be found in many places in Japan, however ‘Futamigaura Meoto-iwa’ in Mie Prefecture is outstanding.
The gods or spirits of ‘Shintoism’, Japan’s native religion, are thought to exist as natural objects such as trees, mountains, sea, rocks, etc. On this ground, many big rocks sticking out of the surface of the sea have been regarded as the place where ‘Shinto’ gods abide and thus they are an objects of worship with a ‘torii’ gate and a sacred straw rope like a shrine. Among these divine rocks, a pair of rocks, one large, one small, is highly venerated because it seems to be a well-matched couple, a symbol of fertility. The ‘Meoto-iwa’ in the picture is a leading example standing near ‘Ise-jingu’ shrine, Mie Prefecture. This has attracted many religious people across the country since Edo period in the 17th century.
By Masahisa Takaki.
FUTAMI OKITAMA JINJA
575 Futamichoe Ise, Mie
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