巨大信仰のルーツ 神々しい御神体

乳房杉

Chichisugi

CHICHI-SUGI CEDAR TREE

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CHICHI-SUGI CEDAR TREE

The roots of giant tree worship
A divine object of reverence

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An encounter with a giant, mysterious and divine monster of a tree, estimated to be 800 years old.

Mt. Daimanji stands at an altitude of 608 meters, and is the tallest peak on the Oki Island of Dogo. When you get out of the car on the north side forest road, you are greeted with a sight that takes your breath away. An 800 year old giant tree, 38 meters in height with a trunk thickness of 9.6 meters appears beyond the torii gate. It truly is a divine “monster.”

The trunk divides into 15 branches 4 to 8 meters from the ground, and 24 breast-shaped roots of different sizes hang from the branches. It is from this shape that the tree gets its name “chichi” (breast) cedar. Cedars are usually thought of as being tall and reaching straight for the sky, however, this cedar differs from that image. Yet it is so huge, extraordinarily fascinating, and divine, that the first reaction of everyone who sees it is an awed “Wow!” The tree has an overwhelming, extraordinary presence.

The roots of Japan’s indigenous religion of giant tree worship.
In its extraordinary presence, one’s hands join together in prayer.

Mountain and giant tree worship are the indigenous folk beliefs of ancient Japan. This place is an important spot for giant tree worship, which forms the roots of Japanese faith. The air is chilly, with a sense of presence, and the natural power of the tree makes you want to join your hands together in prayer.There is no shrine building at Iwakura Shrine, only the torii gate and the tree, which is itself the object of worship

There is an unusual rock formation called Iwakura Kazaana (wind hole) around the tree, which was created through the buildup of rolling basalt stones. Even at the height of summer, a cold wind blows from the gaps between the stones. Due to this unusual natural phenomenon, many northern and mountain plants grow, including Japanese elm, yew, and walnut trees. After splitting from the continent, the Oki Islands evolved in their own unique way, and have a mysteriousness which is never-ending.

{ Access }

  • ●Access to Chichi-sugi Cedar Tree: Approximately 70 minutes by car from Saigo Port

  • ●Fuse, Okinoshima-cho

  • [ more information ] Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark <<View the site>>

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CHICHI-SUGI CEDAR TREE