|Hetsu-no-Miya Honden of 1578 (ICP)|
|Dedicated to||Ichikishima Hime-no-Kami
|Address||2331, Tashima, Munakata
1811, Ōshima, Munakata
Munakata Taisha (宗像大社?) is a collection of three Shinto shrines located in Munakata, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. It is the head of the approximately 6,000 Munakata shrines all over the country. Although the name Munakata Taisha refers to all three shrines—Hetsu-gū, Nakatsu-gū and Okitsu-gū—it is commonly used to refer to Hetsu-gū alone. As documented in Japan's second oldest book, Nihon Shoki, the shrines are devoted to the three Munakata goddesses. These kami are believed to be daughters of the god Amaterasu, the ancestor of the imperial family. Susanoo has also been worshipped there for many years as the god of mariners, and he has come to be worshipped as the god of traffic safety on land as well.
Munakata Taisha is also home to many Japanese treasures. Hetsu-gū's honden (main shrine) and haiden (main prayer hall) are both designated Important Cultural Properties and the precincts are an Historic Site. The Shinpō-kan (神寶館?), the shrine's treasure hall located on the southwest corner of Hetsu-gū's grounds, houses many important relics including six National Treasures of Japan. Over 120,000 artifacts housed in the Shinpō-kan were unearthed on Okinoshima.
All three shrines are located in Fukuoka Prefecture, yet they are all on separate islands. The main shrine, Hetsu-gū, is located on the mainland of Kyūshū. Nakatsu-gū is established at the foot of Mt. Mitake on the island of Ōshima off the west coast of Kyūshū. The final shrine, Okitsu-gū, is on the island of Okinoshima located in the middle of the Genkai Sea. The shrine occupies the entire island, therefore women are not allowed to set foot on the island and men must perform a purification ceremony before landing.
|Shrine Name||Enshrined Deity||Island Location||Coordinates|
|Hetsu-gū (辺津宮?)||Ichikishima Hime-no-Kami (市杵島姫神?)||Kyūshū|
|Nakatsu-gū (中津宮?)||Tagitsu Hime-no-Kami (湍津姫神?)||Ōshima|
|Okitsu-gū (沖津宮?)||Tagori Hime-no-Kami (田心姫神?)||Okinoshima|
- List of Shinto shrines
- List of National Treasures of Japan (archaeological materials)
- World Heritage Sites in Japan
- "宗像神社境内" [Munakata Jinja Precinct]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Stroll through Munakata History". 宗像市公式Webサイト. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "Munakata-taisha Nakatsu-gu Shrine". Japan National Tourist Organization. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "Muna Kata Tai Sha". Archived from the original on 2006-01-25. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
- "Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region". UNESCO. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region". World Heritage Promotion Committee of "Okinoshima Island and Related Sites in Munakata Region". Retrieved 15 June 2012.
- "Overview of Munakata City". 宗像市公式Webサイト. Retrieved 2008-06-03.
Media related to Munakata-taisha at Wikimedia Commons