Origin

The deity enshrined at Okinogu, one of the Eight Ryukyu Shrines, was a sacred log. Its origin was at Tenpozan on Onoyama and the god enshrined within was called Amaterasu Omikami who was worshipped at Okinogu as Tenjuku Nuryuguou Onmikami.

Enshrined Deity

Usachi Metenkamiyo,

Great God Tenjukumegu,

Naka Tenkamiyo,

Great God Amachijo Meryugu,

Naka Tenkamiyo

Ima Metenkamiyo,

Amachijo Meryugu

Metenkamiyo

Great God Tenjukameryuku (center) also known as Sun Goddess Amatersu

Subsidiary shrines

Sumiyoshi ・Yasaka・Banzai tenngu・Gongendou・Soreisya

Origin

Details about the founding of Okinogu, one of the Ryukyu Eight Shrines is unknown. However, according to a passage in the Ryukyu History Archive, a miraculous occurrence in Naha Port; the King of Ryukyu witnessed, from within Shuri Castle, a brilliant ray of light emanating out of the water. Fishermen were sent to investigate the source of the light and found an extraordinary rampike (dead tree) in the waters. The tree was later consecrated as Kuwanu Gongesuijaku. The ray of light reappeared over Naha Port on the following nights and, in reverence, a shrine was built. The shrine came to be worshipped by royalty and commoners alike and was the protector of the royal fleet to China and tribute ships to Satsuma, ensuring safety to returning ships and travelers from nearby countries. (The shrine was designated national treasure of Japan by recommendation of Dr. Chuta Ito but, unfortunately, was reduced to ashes during World War II).

History of Okinogu

byobu_01s

Okinogu, one of Ryukyu Eight Shrines, is on a hill overlooking scenic Man Lake and boasts a spectacular view of the sea and its shorelines. Full of natural beauty and spiritual power, Okinogu is a place of history and religion.

Okinogu was originally enshrined in a pier Naha Port but, in 1908, it was relocated to an area near Asato Hachiban Temple. Its rustic yet elegant main shrine which was designated national treasure of Japan by recommendation of Dr. Chuta Ito burned down during the Second World War. After the war, Higa Shinchu received an oracle to “rebuild Okinogu.”: “Divine will is fulfilled through earthly faith and progress. The divine path is paved with earthly paths. A bud will sprout only if there is a root. The enlightenment received through the Rampike of Okinogu instigated the rebuilding of Okinogu and daily visits to Mt. Tenzai. In Onoyama, there are three hills, the eastern being Mt. Tenzai dubbed “The Golden Forest”, the center hill “The Higo Forest” and the western forest “The Silver Forest.”

In 1386, High Priest Yorishige from Ichijou-in Temple of Bounozu, Satsuma and in 1522 High Priests Hibiri and Shinkai came to Okinawa to propagate Shingon Buddhism, and revived the Ryukyu Seven Shrines which came to be revered by the king of the Ryukyus and the general public. Within Onoyama Park, Ryudou-ji Temple (a sub-temple for retirement) and Onoyama Utaki (prayer ground) were built and are widely acclaimed as a sacred place and worshipped by many. Within the utaki grounds, a black stone inscribed in Saskrit has been unearthed—a reminder of mysticism of the past.

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