Since they are located in various places in Tokyo, including Akasaka, I had assumed that they were spread all over Japan, just like the Inari shrines. However, this was not the case. The headquarters of the Hikawa Shrines is the Omiya Hikawa Shrine in Omiya, Saitama, and most of them are located in the Kanto region, formerly Musashi Province. What was even more surprising was the origin of the name Hikawa Shrine. The name "Hikawa" is said to be derived from the Hikawa River (today's Hii River) that flows through Izumo Province.
The Hii River is a long way from the Kanto region. Moreover, Hikawa shrines are located only in the Kanto region, and when one considers the vast void of Hikawa shrines between the Kanto region and Izumo, where the Hii River flows, one wonders how a Hikawa shrine could be located so far away in the Kanto region. At first glance, it seems as if a cultural sphere with Hikawa beliefs suddenly appears in a place with which one has no connection.
The reason I think this is so is that I have the Kanto region and the San'in region, where Izumo is located, in mind when I think of traveling by today's transportation network. According to Masataka Okamoto's "Crossing Boundaries in Izumo Studies," the old route from Izumo to northern Kanto did not pass through the San'in, Sanyo, Tokaido, or Chuo highways. It is said to be by the sea. From Izumo, people traveled by ship northward along the Sea of Japan, around the tip of the Noto Peninsula to Echigo. They then traveled by land from Shinano to the northern Kanto region. Along this route, traces of the Izumo culture remain, and the Hikawa faith is one of them.
So I came to Yakumo Hikawa Shrine in Yakumo, Meguro, but I could not smell the scent of the Izumo region. I have been away from Izumo for a long time. Even though I could sense Izumo in the deities of the shrine, I must have already become familiar with the Kanto region. Hometowns are things that are far away and yet we think of them.
|Dec 2022 IN THE CITY TOKYO|
|GUARDIAN DOG MEGURO SHRINE UMBRELLA WORSHIPER|
December 12, 2022
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF