Sasaki (Sake) Jinja

The Wosite story behind Sasaki Jinja relates it to the first sake and the kami Sukunami,


There is a shrine called 沙沙貴神社(ささきじんじゃ)Sasaki Jinja in Azuchi city, Shiga-ken. The current Sasaki Shrine faces a mountain. In olden times a shrine was on the mountain called Inokuti-yama. Its honor name was Sasake-yama, Splendid Mountain. Both names Inokuti and Sasake are found in the poem. Later, Sasake-yama changed to Sasaki-yama. Now it is called Kinugasa-yama.

In other words, the name of the mountain changed from Inokuti-yama (猪口山) to Sasake-yama to Sasaki-yama (沙沙貴山 or 佐々木山) to finally today’s Kinugasa-yama (繖山). [There are different ways of writing Sasaki in kanji characters, because after all it is a very ancient Woshite word from pre-kanji times.]

The enshrined kami of Sasaki Jinja is said to be Sukuna-hikona, a later historical personage and no doubt a distortion of the name Sukunami. 

307px-基礎自治体位置図_25381.svgHere is a map of Shiga which surrounds Biwako. The map shows the location of Azuchi (the small orange area) in Shiga (large pink area). The entrance of the current Sasaki Jinja looks northeastward to Inokuti-yama, now Kinugasa-yama. Probably the summer solstice sun would rise over Kinugasa-yama, as seen from the entrance.

The Sasaki clan seems to be the benefactor of this shrine, since their kamon family crest is displayed throughout the grounds. Do you suppose they know the origin of their family name?

Updated 2017.01.02