This museum is one of the leading cultural facilities of Haguro Town. It was built to house the cultural of the Dewa Sanzan eleven years ago.
Japan is still known as a beautiful country rich in greenery. But throughout the world, nature is being ruined and environmental problem on the Earth are becoming more and more serious; therefore, the whole world watches Shugendo. Shugendo forms the basis of Japanese spiritual culture, which puts a high value on nature.
During the Middle Ages in Japan, Dewa Sanzan was called the "University of the Northeast District." Visitors to the Ideha Museum are therefore expected to learn the culture of Dewa Sanzan and to exchenge information about their cultures with the people of Haguro.
The Ideha Museum has many functions that introduse Dewa Sanzan culture such as filmes, exhibitions and lectures. Vistors also are offered an apportunity to paticipate in the Yamabushi experience training school.
I think you may already know that Dewa Sanzan is a name applied to a group of three mountains in this area. First, people are supposed to visit Mt. Haguro, then traveled up to Mt. Gassan, and lastly, down to Mt. Yudono to worship. Why is this so? Mt. Haguro is didicated to "Kannon Buddha," who gives us the venefits of life in this world. therefore we pray to Kannon for our happiness in this life. Mt. Gassan is dedicated to "Amida Buddha," who will take care of us in another world after death. therefore we pray to Amida Buddha to purify as quickly as possible our evil spirits and impure hearts in this world. Mt. Yudono is dedicated to "Dainichi Buddha," who will take us to the pure land in the future world. We therefore pray to Dainichi Buddha in order that we will be able to come back again to this world. Going around the three mountains, we travel symbolically through the whole world; present, past and future, all the while maintaining exsistence.
This idea comes from the cycle of life in Buddhism where everyone wishes for rebirth as a human being after death, no matter how painful it was to live before.