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Funagata-ishi (Boat-shaped Stone)

Funagata-ishi (Boat-shaped Stone)
There is a stone in the shape of a boat inside the precinct of Kibune Shrine, dedicated to the worship of the water' deity.
Sunlight seeps through the trees that cover thickly the shrine precincts, forming light spots over the ground. Kibune Shrine in Ukyo ward of Kyoto is dedicated to the worship of the deity of water. The origin of the shrine dates back to the time of the Emperor Kammu when his mother went by boat from Yodogawa river along Kamogawa river, upstream Kibunegawa river and established a shrine in that area. The ship was covered with stones to keep it hidden from sight. Nowadays the so called 'Funagata-ishi' (Boat-shaped Stone) stands still inside the inner shrine precincts. It consists of an armful of piled-up stones, encircled by a sacred straw rope 'shime-nawa'. It is said that the Boat-shaped Stone has a divine power to ensure marine safety, so it became a focus for various people prayers and beliefs.

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