@The Kanayama Megaliths and Archaeoastronomy in Japan@
@ The Ancient Solar Calendar

@Advisors Advisors' Corner @Dr.HARRIET NATSUYAMA

Dr. Harriet H. Natsuyama, a graduate of the University of Hawaii, received her doctoral degree from Kyoto University in tenmongaku uchubutsuri, astrophysics, under the direction of Professor Sueo Ueno. She is the author of six books and over 200 papers in mathematics, physics, and engineering. An American living in Los Angeles,California, she is studying megaliths and the astronomy of ancient people.
Iwaya-Iwakage of Kanayama Megaliths

EOctober 15, 2015

EDecember 9, 2012

EMay 2012
EDecember 28, 2010.@2011@KANAYAMA RETREAT
EOctober 31, 2010. @I spent another five wonderful days at Kanayama c
June 17, 2010. @The Kanayama Megalith System

EJune 9, 2010.@ Regarding KANAYAMA MEGALITHS

 @@@October 15, 2015
  @@@ Iwaya-Iwakage of Kanayama Megaliths

@@@ December 9, 2012
Megaliths as Ancient Shrines

In English, a gmegalithh is a ggreat stoneh and is defined as ga large stone that forms a prehistoric monumenth by the Oxford Dictionary. In Japanese, the word gmegalithh is written , great stone, and is read kyoseki.

Letfs discuss rocks and stones. We often use these words interchangeably. Are they different? Instead of the common word for stone, ishi, the Japanese sometimes use the word, iwa. If the ishi is a smallish stone, then iwa is a largish rock like a boulder. When we examine the kanji for iwa, we see the character for mountain over that for stone so it represents a mountain stone.

While megaliths occur naturally, many show evidence of having been worked on by ancient people. Megaliths were often transported over great distances to special sites on the peaks of mountains (such as megaliths from the island of Shikoku on top of 2,599 meter tall Mt Kinpusan in Yamanashi). Megaliths are also iwakura, ֍ stone seats for kami deities. The connotation is that kami descend from an unseen world to sit on or in the stones. Megaliths are found within iwasaka, ֋ sacred enclosures, which were probably the very first shrines. Megaliths can be regarded as iwa no hashira, pillars of rock. The pillar is an important metaphor in sacred literature around the world. It represents a sacred mountain, the center of the world, the world axis.

Why are megaliths sacred? Megaliths connect ki of heaven spiraling down and ki of earth spiraling up. The movements of heaven and earth are celebrated and joined in matsuri, festivals to kami of heaven and earth.

There are three shrines in front of the Iwaya-Iwakage megalith grouping, indicating that people have considered this site a sacred place. Let us note that the word, iwaya, , or house of rock, is translated as cavern or grotto, and even as sanctuary. Iwakage, , means shade of the rock.

I visited Kanayama Megaliths at the time of the autumn equinox in September. It was a good time to be in Iwaya-Iwakage.

The spotko was brilliant, and the beam of sunlight was easily revealed by the smoke of burning incense. I sat on the rock on the west side of the gsanctuaryh and when I was alone, I felt Iwayafs beauty and peace. The smoke in the sunbeam was swirling around and it was mesmerizing to watch. It seemed like there was a spiraling energy right here in Iwaya.

 @ @May 2012

This is a momentous year, 2012. It is a year of renewal after last yearfs disasters. 2012 is a year of awakening to the connectedness that we share, all over the world.
As I prepare for my return to Kanayama for geshi-no-hi, summer solstice, I wonder how will it be. Have you heard about shinrin-yoku, forest bathing for relaxation and revitalizing? Kanayama is a perfect place for it.
Last October, I witnessed the Leap Year event at Iwaya-Iwakage. It was thrilling to share this event not only with my Kanayama friends but with our Jomon ancestors as well.
On the night of the full moon, we all went to Iwaya-Iwakage. The stars in the northern sky were reflected in the Big Dipper cupules of the megalith. The full moon arose and brought a silver-blue magic to the realm. We could only breathe in this clear atmosphere as if it were a magic elixer. It was a time to experience the wonder and beauty of the universe.
I am looking forward to my next visit to Kanayama Kyoseki-gun. Perhaps Ifll see you there!

@December 28, 2010. @2011 KANAYAMA RETREAT


Dear Friends,

We are planning a retreat in the mountains of Hida Kanayama, an ancient secluded valley untouched by the vagaries of modern life yet easily within reach.

The retreat will take place during the first full week of October 2011, Sunday the 2nd through Saturday the 8th. It is being organized by myself, Harriet Natsuyama, and an experienced tour guide, Ms Kikuko Funabashi.

In option A, you will have a pre-retreat week-long tour of Tokyo and Kyoto, ending in Nagoya on Sunday, 2 October.

With option B, you can go directly to Nagoya Station for meeting with the whole group on Sunday, 2 October.

We are arranging suitable accommodations and local cuisine - not fancy or gourmet, but substantial and healthy and close to nature. Most likely the fish will have been caught in the pure streams and the vegetables picked that morning in the mountains.

This is your chance to visit places beyond the tourist track and dwell in silent contemplation. The hot water spas will refresh your bodies as well as your minds.

Our hosts in Kanayama will be Mr. Y. Kobahashi and Ms S. Tokuda of the KanayamaMegalith Center. They will give you a personal tour of the 6,000 year-old astronomical observatory for the light from the sun and stars. You will learn about the annual calendar of four seasons, the four-year and longer leap year calculation, and the clever ways of measuring diurnal time.

We will have several tutorial sessions on astronomy, ancient Jomon culture, mythology and history. You may be one of the first to observe new archaeological findings for the site!

Join us for this unique opportunity to explore the wonders of Hida Kanayama!

@October 31, 2010

October 31, 2010
. I spent another five wonderful days at Kanayama Megaliths with Kobayashi San and Tokuda San. The spotko at Iwaya-Iwakage arrived on October 23, sixty days before the winter solstice, and we were there to welcome it. Many people dropped by to see it, and Ms Tokuda gave a clear explanation to all visitors. It still amazes me how beautifully our ancestors planned and executed this astronomical site - although it should not by now! And how interesting that Abu Simbel in Egypt also has a light display on this date.

Before arriving at Kanayama on this trip, I had the pleasure of climbing MtKuromanta, well actually climbing half-way while my companions completed the ascent and took pictures of the Motomiya Jinja at the peak. This man-made pyramid mountain with seven steps as determined by radar mapping has been studied and reported on by Mr. Akira Suzuki in his book. Many alignments are centered on Kuromanta and these include the four cardinal directions and the solsticial azimuth directions. The Kuromanta site is roughly of an age with Kanayama Megaliths, four thousand as compared with perhaps six thousand years for Kanayama. In spite of its hoary age, Kanayama is still a complex system and a beautiful one.

I am listing some links to archaeoastronomical sites. They may be of value to those who wish to pursue further studies of megaliths and astronomy as well as of ancient culture.

Website Links
A nice tutorial of the earth's rotation and orbit

NOAA Solar Calculator - Find Sunrise, Sunset, Solar Noon and Solar Position for Any Place on Earth

At this site, you can learn the basic principles and "design your own Stonehenge or Kanayama." The equation for the solar azimuth direction is given. Try it out on Kayanama, latitude 35 degrees 45 minutes North. Did you get 29.5 degrees?

You can verify your calculation of the solar azimuth of solstices by using the Applet here.

Astronomy in Japan: Science, History, Culture

Links to sites on archaeoastroomy.

Astroarchaeology and archaeoastronomy news

@June 17, 2010. @The Kanayama Megalith System


Ancient Solar Observatory for Seasons and Leap Years

The Kanayama Megaliths are an ancient astronomical observatory for following the light rays from the sun and from the Polestar. In a beautifully designed and executed system of megaliths, the four nodal times of the year: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, could be determined. Moreover, from these sunbeam observations leap-year cycles of four years, 33 years, and longer can be calculated.

Kanayama Megaliths System

The Kanayama Megalith System is a composite of three megalithic sites in Kanayama-Cho,GeroCity, Gifu Ken:
"The Megaliths of The Iwaya-Iwakage Remains",
"The Megaliths with a Marked Stone" and
"The Megaliths of The Eastern Mountain".

The first two sites are shown on the left of the illustration, and the third site on the Eastern Mountain is shown below. Together they cover the entire yearly progress of the sun around the earth (skywatching is an earth-centered activity). From these observational sites the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox, and Winter Solstice as well as leap year cycles can be determined. That the ancient astronomers could do this in a mountainous region is indeed remarkable.

The red and blue wedges indicate the regions of angular observation during the summer and winter months, respectively. Sunbeams on certain days and during certain periods enter the observing chambers through the careful placement of the boulders. The boulders display carved symbols and lines as well as exceptional stone-shaping techniques.

Priceless Treasure

The Kanayama Megalith System is a priceless treasure for not only the people ofJapan but for everyone around the world. Here, we can study how ancient man carried out vital activities which served for practical (e.g., agricultural) uses as well as for cultural and spiritual benefits. In those days, the science was not separated from the sacred.

This system is an excellent educational laboratory for teaching youth the basics of astronomy as no museum or classroom, book or video, can. Schoolchildren can learn science and mathematics in a real-life setting and learn the principles of scientific research. Furthermore, young (and not-so-young) people can relate to nature and develop a sense of peace, harmony, and ethical behavior.

The Kanayama Megaliths are a resource which is awe-inspiring.

@June 9, 2010




June 9, 2010

The Kanayama Metaliths are magnificent! I visited this site from 31 May through 4 June, 2010.

I am certain that these huge boulders were deliberately arranged by human ancestors thousands of years in the past.

That they still function as accurate solar calendars and leap year determinators is due to their exquisite design, careful planning, and their use of extremely large and heavy boulders. The arrangement of these boulders has withstood the shocks of earthquakes over the course of many millennia.

Moreover, I am impressed by and I greatly respect the dedication and scientific acumen of Mr. Yoshiki Kobayashi and Ms. Shiho Tokuda. These two sincere people have single-handedly (so to speak) developed this site to the condition where visitors can appreciate the functions of the stones.

Over the course of thirteen years, Mr. Kobayashi has laboriously analyzed the observational data obtained by Ms. Tokuda. I am impressed by his high-level self-taught mathematical ability and Ms. Tokudafs careful data collection. I myself am a mathematical astrophysicist with many years of formal education.

This important prehistoric site belongs not only to all the people ofJapan, it is a treasure for all the people of the world.

The research team for Kanayama Megaliths has become quite international is constantly growing. This site is coming to the attention of many people inJapan and in other countries.

To support this effort is to start a new science inJapan, one that will contribute to the understanding of other megalithic cultures around the world.

I urge the government to support the work of Mr. Kobayashi and Ms. Tokuda. For not only is this a
historic and scientific site, it is also a sacred site. There are strong energies connecting humans to earth and to nature. In these difficult times this research will lead us to a better understanding of the past and our future.

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