Kibitsujinja Shrine - A Japan Heritage Site
The town where the legend of Momotaro was born.
A story of demon slaying brought to life by the heritage of ancient Kibi.
The setting for this story is recognized as a Japan Heritage Site.
Of the 27 cultural properties, 8 have been designated at this shrine. Feel the romance of the legend of Ura.
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The Kibi Plain - A Japan Heritage Site
The ruins from the legend of Ura can still be found on the Kibi Plain. They are the setting for the legend of Prince Kibitsuhiko slaying the demon called Ura (which is said to have been the origin of the story of Momotaro). The places from the legend of Ura invite visitors to join this mysterious story.
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The Demon Mask of Kibitsujinja Shrine
Ura, who was vanquished by Prence Kibitsuhiko, is enshrined in the Ushitoraonzakigu Shrine, located in the north-east corner of the Main Sanctuary of Kibitsujinja Shrine. A demon mask reminiscent of Ura's face has also been preserved. It is a large mask made of cypress wood, with deep carvings that boldly express the hair and eyebrows. You can tell that it is a demon mask because there is still a hole in the forehead where the demon's horn was attached.
Yaokiiwa Rock and the Yadate Ritual
This is the rock on which Prince Kibitsuhiko is said to have placed his arrow during his battle with Ura, and is preserved in Kibitsujinja Shrine. The Yadate Ritual is held at Kibitsujinja Shrine. It is based on the legend that Prince Kibitsuhiko vanquished Ura using a bow and arrow.
This shrine is located in Kibitsu, in Okayama City, at the foot of Mt. Nakayama in Kibi. It is said to have been built in the reign of Emperor Nintoku, and Prince Kibitsuhiko and his followers are enshrined here. Many Shinto rituals have been preserved, including the Grand Rites in spring and autumn, the Yadate Ritual, and the Narukama Ritual.
Kanjincho (temple donation book)
This was used for the practice of "kanjin," which included the collecting of donations for the restoration of Kibitsujinja Shrine. It has been handed down to Kinzanji Temple, which was the main temple of Honganji, the former shrine-temple of Kibitsu Shrine. It records the origins and history of Kibitsu Shrine, and includes a section on Prince Kibitsuhiko conquest of the demon described as a fierce kami (gods or deities) and "Okukuni-kaja", as well as a mention of the Okamaden Hall.
Old map of the grounds
It is believed to have been created in the late Edo period, based on legends, to tell the story of the activities of Prince Kibitsuhiko and grandeur of Kibitsu-jinja Shrine.
It is said that Prince Kibitsuhiko buried the head of the defeated Ura under the cauldron in the Okamaden Hall. Despite this, the roaring from under the cauldron never stopped, and echoed throughout the surrounding villages.
In this ritual, the volume and duration of the sound that comes from the kettle is used to predict whether or not the prayers of the worshippers will be answered. It is introduced as "Kibitsu no Kama" (The Cauldron of Kibitsu) in the Ugetsu Monogatari, a collection of tales by Ueda Akinari, an Edo-period writer. Many writers who travelled along the Sanyo Road wrote about this mysterious "ringing cauldron.”
Kinojo Castle (Demon Castle)
An ancient mountain castle built at an altitude of about 400m in Okusaka, Soja City. Near the top of the mountain is a 2.8km-length of stone walls and earthworks. The remains of warehouses, four gates (north, south, east and west), and a sluice gate at the foot of the mountain have been discovered. The truth of why the castle was built has yet to be proven.
The Demon Cauldron
This iron cauldron, 1.8m in diameter and about 1.4m deep, was preserved on the trail to Kinojo Castle. It is said to be the cauldron in which Ura boiled the people he kidnapped. The iron is from Azo in Soja City, which reminds us that iron has been abundant in this area since ancient times.
This river flows through the eastern part of Soja City. It is said that one of the two arrows fired by Prince Kibitsuhiko hit Ura in his left eye, and the river was formed by the blood that spurted out.
This is considered to be the place where the arrow shot by Prince Kibitsuhiko and the arrow of Ura collided in the air and fell, and the bow and arrow are enshrined here. It is said that the bamboo that grows nearby is where the arrow of Prince Kibitsuhiko took root.
A shrine located along the Ashimorigawa River, about 2km southeast of the Akahama area. Sasamorihiko-no-mikoto (a subordinate of Prince Kibitsuhiko) and Ura are enshrined here. Ura turned himself into a carp and tried to escape in the Chisuigawa River, but Prince Kibitsuhiko became a cormorant and chased after him. It is said that this is the place where he caught and ate him. You can also see a picture of a carp in the Worship Hall.
This is an important ancient ritual site located on a hill in the eastern part of Kurashiki City, and has been designated as a National Historic Site. It was originally a subordinate shrine of Kibitsu Shrine, and its name comes from the circular arrangement of giant stones, that looks like a shield. It is said that the stone shield was built in preparation for the battle to defeat Ura.