Sengen Sect                                                                                  浅間信仰

Although the "Number of Shrines Grouped by Enshrined Kami" Table says Konohanasakuya-hime is the main deity at 1,316 jinja, I have only been able to trace 386. Over 1/3 of these are in Shizuoka-ken, and over 1/5 in Yamanashi-ken. These are the two prefectures from which Mt. Fuji is most visible, and the Sengen Sect and the Mount Fuji Sect are so intertwined as to often seem to be the same thing. The main difference between them is that in the latter Mt. Fuji itself is worshipped as a kami, while Sengen Sect devotees worship the sacred mountain through the deity enshrined in their Jinja. Even this distinction is blurred though. The main shrine where Konohanasakuya-hime is enshrined, the Fujisan Hongū Sengen Taisha in Fujinomiya in Shizuoka-ken, is not only large in its own right, it occupies about 56,000 square metres in downtown Fujinomiya, but from its 8th stage upwards Mount Fuji itself is considered to be part of the shrine grounds.

In English the names Fuji and Sengen are entirely dissimilar, not so in Japanese. The compound Sengen, 浅間, can be read as Asama, there is a Mt. Asama on the border of Gunma-ken and Nagano-ken and it is the most active volcano in Honshū

© Rod Lucas 2016-2021

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated