Mitsumine Shrine wolf in autumn evening

About This Project

Mitsumine Shrine wolf in autumn evening

Series of photographs taken at Mitsumine Shrine, located in the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park.

Mitsumine shrine is a sanctuary on top of Mount Mitsume, 1102 m above sea level. It is located in the Chichibu-Tama-Kai National Park (秩父多摩甲斐国立公園 Chichibu Tama Kai Kokuritsu Kōen), a national park at the intersection of Tokyo, Saitama, Yamanashi and Nagano prefectures. It covers an area of 1250 km², has eight peaks higher than 2000 m, and is the source of several major rivers including the Arakawa and the Tamagawa. This shrine is very old. It probably dates back about 2,000 years.

This shrine is dedicated to Japanese mountain wolves, among a variety of other gods. In ancient times, these wolves were considered holy. Their spirits would protect people’s houses against fire and burglars. The reputation of wolf was often benevolent.  According to okuri-okami stories, for example, a wolf would often follow a person walking along mountain roads at night. When the person neared his house, the wolf would disappear so in other words, the animal’s purpose was to protect.

Mitsumine, shrine of Japanese mountain wolves

Mitsumine, shrine of Japanese mountain wolves

Date

May 04, 2016

Category

Photography