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Myojin Taisha Shrines

The types of shrines found in Oki demonstrate that the islands were a prosperous place in ancient times. There are many old shrines in the islands, however the most notable are 16 shrines recorded in the Engi-shiki Jinmyocho, a list of important shrines that received funds from the Imperial Court (compiled in 927). Furthermore, among these important shrines are those given the high ranking of Myojin Taisha. These are shrines dedicated to important gods. Oki has four Myojin Taisha: Ise-no-mikoto Shrine, Mizuwakasu Shrine, Uzuka-mikoto Shrine and Yurahime Shrine.

Out of the 2861 shrines listed in the Engi-shiki Jinmyocho there are only 226 Myojin Taisha. Izumo Taisha and Kumano Taisha are the only two others in Shimane Prefecture (which includes the former Izumo Province, Iwami Province and Oki Province). The high number of Myojin Taisha in Oki demonstrates that it was a significant place at the time.

Uzuka-mikoto Shrine

Ancient mythology also suggests the significance of the Oki Islands long ago. According to the creation mythology of the Japanese Archipelago recorded in the Kojiki (the oldest chronicle of Japan written in 712), the land of Oki was created third, following Awajishima and Shikoku (although in the Nihon-shoki written later in 720 it was created 5th). Considering this spiritual significance alongside archaeological findings (obsidian artifacts) we can conclude that Oki was a prosperous place from prehistoric to ancient times.

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