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The Storytellers of Mt. Hakusan
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Mr.Yamazaki 2.Worship of Mt. Hakusan and the Shirayama-Hime Shrine@Worshipping the greatness of the ancient deities and administering to the peopleÕs spirituality as the Chief Shinto priest of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine@Storyteller:@Mr. Munehiro Yamazaki Chief Shinto priest of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine
The Shirayama-Hime Shrine is the head shrine of all the Hakusan shrines across the nation.  From ancient times the Shrine has been attracting the deep faith of the people.
Could you tell us something about the history of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine?
Although somewhat more myth than history, it is said that a long time ago the hill called Funaokayama was dedicated as a sacred place to worship the god of Mt. Hakusan. This place was chosen as the location for the shrine. The Shirayama Hime Shrine enshrines the following three deities; the god of Izanagi, the goddess of Izanami, and the great god of Shirayama-Hime, that is, Kukurihime-no-Kami.
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photo:Shirayama-Hime Shrine
Shirayama-Hime Shrine
What are the features of Shirayama-Hime Shrine?
Mt. Hakusan itself is the go-shintai, that is, the authentic deity worshipped at the shrine. The mountain's deity has been traditionally believed to dwell within the shrine. Because Mt. Hakusan is the source of the four great rivers, the Tedori, the Kuzuryu, the Nagara, and the Sho, the deity is believed to have divine power over water. The deity is sometimes called by another name, gKukuri-Hime-no-Kamih- a name that suggests the deity has also the power to create harmony. The word gkukuruh in his name means gcombine thingsh, doesn't it? The Shirayama-Hime Shrine is the head shrine of about 3000 shrines named gShirayamah all over the country. Indeed, we find a reference to the shrine as gHongu (head shrine)hin an old chronicle. However, as far as I can ascertain, it was in the post-WWII period, around 1950 or 1951, when the shrine started to be called ggHakusan Head Shrinehthroughout the country. At that time the Japanese Government sold the mountain itself, at one time government property, to the local religious body. There were three gbanbah, ashrams for worshippers resting spots for pilgrims to Mt. Hakusan, in Kaga (Ishikawa Prefecture), Echizen (Fukui Prefecture) and Mino (Gifu Prefecture). When people decided to reduce the three gbanbahdown to one, the Kaga gbanbahwas selected as the most appropriate. Givin this background, the Shirayama-Hime Shrine has been well equipped as a head shrine for gathering the deep faith of people from all over the country.


He reveals to worshippers the True Form of the god of Mt. Hakusan, Deity of Water and Harmony.
What do you want people to see and feel about the Shirayama-Hime Shrine?
Around 600 to 700 thousand worshippers visit the shrine every year. As I previously mentioned, the god of Mt. Hakusan is the deity of water, the origin of life. At the same time, he is the god of Harmony with the power of binding things together. I hope that worshippers can understand and appreciate these two aspects of the god of Mt. Hakusan.


The Chief Priest strongly wishes for a world where people may live peacefully.
What do you think are the prominent qualities of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine ?
The shrine is endowed with a pureness, a solemnity, and a power to heal. You will feel a great relief just by taking the 500 meters walk amongst cedar trees that leads up to the front of the shrine. Another fabulous experience is going to worship at the so-called Oku-gu, the inner shrine, which is located on the mountain top at an altitude of 2702 meters.
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As Chief Shinto Priest, from hereon how do you wish to relay the spirit of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine ?
The teachings of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine at the beginning of the Meiji Era were a mixture of folk belief, Buddhism and other different beliefs. I feel that from hereon belief in water is a necessity. The 21st century is said to be the century of water. I wish that all people might appreciate the importance of water and understand its power to cleanse and purify the heart and mind. Harmony is also important. The world ought to be a peaceful place. As the Chief Priest of the Shirayama-Hime Shrine, I believe that I should preach to the worshippers the power of water and harmony as a necessity to the fulfillment of the hope for peace on earth.
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