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Meoto-Iwa Wedded Rocks off the coast of Futami-cho, Ise city, Mie Prefecture. 夫婦岩
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The Wedded Rocks are part of Futami Okitama Shrine known for frog sculptures. 二見興玉神社
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The shrine is dedicated to Sarutahiko and Ukano-mitama. Sarutahiko is a god which serves as a pathfinder guide. Deities for land/sea transportation safety. 二見
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The frog is Sarutahiko's messenger. Frog is called "kaeru" in Japanese, which is a homonym for the another word meaning "return home." If you travel a lot, pray here for a safe return. 夫婦岩
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Futami Okitama Shrine does not have a main hall (Honden) like most other shrines. It worships the Okitama Sacred Stone in the ocean beyond the Wedded Rocks. 二見興玉神社
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Lantern and sunset at Futami Okitama Shrine
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Sunset at Futami Okitama Shrine. In the old days when traveling was a hazardous undertaking in Japan, pilgrims who traveled to worship at the Ise Grand Shrines prayed here for a safe return home.
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The shimenawa rope bonding the Wedded Rocks is replaced three times a year. May 5, when these photos were taken, is one of the days when they replace the rope. First, they gathered at the shrine at 10 am for a 30-min. prayer ceremony.
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Men carry spanking-new shimenawa ropes to the rocks.
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The Wedded Rocks are actually a type of torii gate for worshipping the Okitama Sacred Stone in the ocean.1 comments
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The torii on the larger rock is quite small. The sacred rope is replaced three times a year on May 5, September 5, and at the end of December.
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5月5日、9月5日と12月下旬には夫婦岩の大注連縄の張り替え神事が行われる。これらの写真は5月5日に撮影された。
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The men begin to cut off the old rope. Those sharp sickles soon made short work of the old sacred ropes which were brought ashore in small pieces.
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The ceremony attracts a large crowd.
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The shimenawa rope actually consists of five smaller ropes. They cut the ropes one by one.
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The ropes are now completely cut, breaking the bond between the two rocks.
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The old rope is taken away.
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The new ropes are strung across the two rocks. A small rope tied to the end of the large rope is used to pull the large rope up the rock.
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The first rope is wound around both rocks.
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The second rope is installed.
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One by one, the men carefully positioned the new sacred ropes on the two Rocks. All the while, young children and young men are chanting on the shore.
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Replacing the rope for the Wedded Rocks, Mie Pref.
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Five ropes are being positioned and made taut.
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All the while, the cheering section chants and wave streamers.
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Pieces of the old rope. Anyone could take home the pieces of old sacred rope if they wanted.
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Making sure that the rope is aligned and positioned correctly.
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The job is finished.
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The rope installers return to shore.
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Wedded Rocks with a new rope. Japan has numerous other Wedded Rocks and stones, but this is by far the most famous.
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