Suwadaimyojin: The belief in Suwajinsha shrine
Suwajinja Shrine is one of the most popular jinja shrines in Japan, so
there are over 10,000 shrines. Suwajinja Shrine dedicates Suwadaimyojin.
Now many people believe in Suwadaimyojin faithfully.
The origin of all Suwajinja Shrines is Suwatisha Grand Shrine in Suwa region in Nagano prefectuer. The beginning of Suwataisha Grand Shrine has no records, but it is one of the oldest shrines in Japan. In Engishiki Shinmeicho, the list of the gods’ names in Engi era (901 - 923) and it was also appeared on Kojiki, the records of ancient matters, and Nihonshoki, Chronicles of Japan. According to Kojiki, Takeminakata no mikoto, the son of Okuninushi no mikoto, escaped from Izumo to Shinano province and he built his state. And the Empress Jito (690 -697) sent her imperial envoy to Suwataisha Shrine. Suwataisha Shrine was called Minakatatomi no kami no yashiro, the shrine of the god Minakatatomi, and it is also the first ranked shrine in the 48 shrines in Shinano province (Nagano prefecture). In Kagoshima prefecture, Suwajinja shrines are generally called 'Minakatajinja Shrines. It might be named after Takeminakata no mikoto.
Suwajinja Shrine is dedicated Suwadaimyojin as the god controlling waters
and winds, then it is believed as the god of crops, sometimes it is dedicated
near the seas as it is the guardian deity for people living in near shores.
Moreover, some say Suwa no Kami is the god of hunting, war and business.
In the legends, Suwa no Kami had helped The Empress Jingu and Sananoue
no Tamuramoro to win their battles. It means that millions people faithfully
has believe Suwajinja Shrine everywhere in Japan. And the shrine is loved,
then Suwadaimyojin has called Suwanokami and Osuwasama.
It is very unique feature that there is no main building in Suwataisha shrine, goshintai, the object of worship, is the mountain behind the shrine, so it is the typical style in the old shrines.
Now, Suwataisha Shrine is famous for Onbashira Festival that supporters of the taisha shrine bring 4 large wooden pillars over 150 years old from the mountain to the shrine and set them up in the site.