Shirahige Jinja, Omi

Torii in Biwako

An earlier post gave the lineage of the family called Sirahige. This post is about a visit to Shirahige Jinja in Omi. Remember how Yamato began in Awa-no-kuni, around Lake Biwa in Omi-no-kuni.

Shirahige Jinja (白鬚神社) is in Takashima, Shiga-ken, located on the western shore of Lake Biwa. It is separated from the lake by a busy highway. Its first torii stands 58 m offshore at a height of 10 m. From the second torii of the jinja, the sun will rise through the torii on the lake on equinox days, for the shrine faces east, as most old shrines do.

This old shrine was established by Yamato-hime, daughter of Suinin Tenno in the 25th year of his reign. The enshrined kami are Sarutahiko Okami and Shirahige Myojin. Sarutahiko is best known as the kami of the land who guided Ninigi, grandson of Amateru, in the tenson-korin tale. He is called the kami who opens the way.

Torii and haidenShirahige Myojin is an old man with a white beard, and he represents longevity. From our Woshite studies, we consider Sarutahiko and Shirahige (Sirahige) to be one. Recall our earlier post describing the great healing abilities of Sarutahiko and how he was the only one that Amateru met with just before his passing.

The haiden is unpainted wood that gives it a rustic feeling.


There are eleven sha on the premises. On the yama beyond the red torii is the Toyouke Daijingu (last photo). It enshrines Toyouke Okami, grandfather of Amateru and great-grandfather of Oshihomimi.

Sha on yama

Toyouke Daijingu

The sha-mon is the mitsu-domoe.

Shirahige Jinja Omamori