The Land of the Gods, Izumo—In Taisha Town, part of Izumo City, you can find Izumo Grand Shrine. Described by Koizumi Yakumo(Lafcadio Hearn), who dedicated himself to studying Japanese culture, as “the Capital of the Gods” or “the oldest shrine of the ancient Japanese Shinto religion,” it stands on a site next to the Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo.
The Izumo province is one of the three main backdrops where Japanese mythological legends(old myths) evolved and most definitely is the birthplace of many legends.
Izumo has been the site of many important ancient Japanese historical discoveries. From 1984 till 1985, 358 bronze swords were excavated at the Kojindani Site. The number of swords discovered at this one site alone exceeds the total number of bronze swords excavated throughout the whole of Japan to date. Then in 1996, 39 bronze vessels(bronze bells) were excavated at the Kamoiwakura Site. This number of vessels is the largest number excavated from a single site in Japan. These bronze implements are thought to have been used in the religious festivals and are evidence that the Gods festivals in Izumo were regarded as highly significant. In the year 2000 ,the pillar which supported the main hall of the Izumo Grand Shrine in the 13th century was excavated. This pillar was made of three logs, 1.3 meters in diameter, and bound together, making it over 3 meters across in diameter. As one legend states, the Izumo Grand Shrine was a huge wooden structure reaching a height of 48 meters. This discovery indicates the high possibility that this legend is based on a fact.
This unique culture has been handed down over the generations in Izumo. The Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo was established to introduce this unique history and culture to people both at home and abroad through exhibitions and so on.
An important facet of Japanese culture from ancient time has been inherited by Izumo. Within Izumo’s modern cityscape there is a reminiscence of good old Japan. We hope you will come to Izumo and visit Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo.