a poet in the 7th century wrote: "I am happy to see
the mountain called Imose which was created by two holy gods
of Ohonamuchi and Sukuna". Ohonamuchi is another name
of Ohokuninushi-no-mikoto who settled down on Otokoyama,
and Sukuna is another name of Sukunahikona-no-mikoto who
arrived on Himeyama
where the Himeji Castle is now located. In the era of
the 7th Emperor Korei (371), Wakatatehiko-no-mikoto, son
of Emperor Korei, lived on Himeyama, and let his son, Nagahiko,
live on Otokoyama. Nagahiko married with Princess Kunikata,
a daughter of the 10th Emperor Sujin. After their death,
people worshiped Princess Kunikata at Shirakuni and worshiped
Nagahiko at Otokoyama. So it was once called Nagahikoyama,
mountain of Nagahiko.
is worshipped at this shrine, and he is the god of country
planning and development, new business, family safety and
medicine. The Great Iwa-myojin had been originally worshiped
here, but he was moved to Harimanokuni-Sosha later.
So this place is regarded as the original place for Harimanokuni-Sosha.
Ohonamuchi-no-mikoto was settled at this location in the
26th year of Emperor Kinnmei (526) and the shrine was built
in 1619 when Tadamasa Honda constructed the Himeji castle.
The Senhime-Tenmangu Shrine
is halfway up Otokoyama hill, and from there you have a full view
of Himeji Castle. Senhime, a granddaughter of Ieyasu
Tokugawa, built this shrine in order to pray for the prosperity
of the Honda family after she married Tadatoki Honda. Senhime
offered a racket-shaped
image to the shrine expressing her hopes and wishes,
and even now people
make similar offerings.
(Emperor Ohjin), Hime-ohkami, Okinagatarashihime-no-mikoto
(Empress Jingu) are worshiped here, and these gods were also
worshiped at branches of the Iwashimizu-Hashiman Shrine in
Kyoto. Historical record show that the Otokoyama-Hachiman
Shrine had a major reconstruction in 1469. Masakuni
Sakakibara, a lord of the Hiemji Castle, reconstructed
a new shrine building in 1711 enshrining a guardian god of
Himeji Castle. Throughout two days, February 18 and 19, many
people visit this shrine for the Yakujin
Ceremony (purifying against evil spirits).
was originally founded on Himeyama (currently castle location)
and called Hase Temple, modeled after Hase Temple in Nara.
It was moved to the west of Harimanokuni-Sosha Shrine in
1572 and was called Fudouin. According to a map made in the
middle of the 17th century, Fudouin was once located where
the present parking lot of Himeji Post Office is now. It
was relocated again to the present site in 1870. There was
the Tozan Kiln run by the lord of the castle during the Edo
period in the same area. Various stone works such as a lantern
and monuments of 18th and 19th century can be found within
lord of the Himeji castle started producing ceramic ware
at the foot of Mt. Higashiyama in 1822 and called the kiln
Tozan. In 1831 the kiln was moved to the foot
of Mt. Otokoyama, behind Fudouin, and produced high quality
china. This kiln became very famous when many furnishings
and gifts were given to other lords in Japan when they
were attending the wedding of Tadanoki Sakai, a lord of the
Himeji castle and Princess Kiyoyo, daughter of Shogun Ienari.
In the middle of the 19th century the kiln was privatized
and production of ceramics continued until around 1883. Yahichi
Ikeda, potter at the kiln, became independent after the
kiln was privatized. He invented portable heaters (small
hibachis) called Yahichi
Konro, and sold them well in Western Japan.