Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Vernal Equinox 春分の日

Today is a national holiday in Japan, a provision of the Public Holiday Law establishes that when a national holiday falls on a weekend the next working day shall become a furikae kyūjitsu (transfer holiday). Under this provision, March 22, 2010 has been designated a furikae kyūjitsu holiday for the Vernal Equinox. The photograph is from a small costal shrine atop a natural sandstone cliff on Awaji Island near the Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge. According to the Nihonshoki version of the Shinto creation myth Awaji was the first of the ōyashima (great country of myriad islands) born from the two Kami Izanagi and Izanami. Izanagi is also said to have retired permanently to a hidden palace on the island of Awaji and for this reason there has been an Izanagi shrine on the island since about the tenth century.

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