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Note on Uneme Jinja

Wed 7 Sep 2011 by mskala Tags used: ,

Okay, the update for September 7 probably will take a while, because there are a lot of pictures and things to describe - that was the day of the conference-sponsored walking tour. However, I did look up the unknown Shinto shrine with the sign saying 「えんむすび采女神社」 shown in the photo gallery, so here's a quick note about that.

First of all, the name of the shrine is just 采女神社, and it's pronounced うねめじんじゃ, Uneme Jinja. The word えんむすび (enmusubi, marriage) on the sign wasn't part of the shrine name, but presumably part of what that sign was advertising. This facility enshrines a woman named Uneme who drowned herself in the turtle pond (see September 7's photos of the turtle pond, not yet posted as I write this) in despair after falling out of favour (not entirely clear to me if that means political favour, romantic favour, or both) with the Emperor. The shrine grounds have a nonstandard layout, with the shrine building facing away from its own torii and the pond because it turned itself around overnight to avoid being constantly reminded of Uneme's death.

The festival (Uneme Matsuri; see this Japanese-language page with photos) is held on the night of the September full moon, which this year will be the 12th. They have a parade and make offerings of paper fans on the pond. Unfortunately, I'm already committed to leave here on the 11th, and extending my stay in Nara until the 13th (since the festival is at night), and the resulting disruption to my plans in Osaka, are not really things I'm willing to attempt, even though I'm sure I'd enjoy seeing the festival.

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