Winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere
is the day (December 22 in 2005) when the sun rises the farthest south on the
horizon and when the number of hours the sun is above the horizon is the
shortest in the year. Tenmon Jyouhousitu (天文情報室, Public Relations Center in English) of the Kokuritsu
Tenmondai (国立天文台, National
Astronomical Observatory of Japan in English）has made available to the public the internet program to calculate the
sun rise azimuth on any day for selected geographic area ( Tenmon Jyouhousitu,
2006). By inserting geographic data for the main shrine building of Komatsu
specifying the day of the winter solstice, December 22 of 2005, the azimuth of
the main shrine building of Komatsu Tenmangu is calculated to be 118.9º of the north
(North Pole point in the sky).
From the azimuth datum, it becomes clear that, the innermost sanctum, called the Honden 本殿, of the main shrine building and the center of the shrine gate, called Shinmon神門 or Akamon 赤門, align on the direction of sunrise on the winter solstice day, where Figure 4 shows the rising sun shining into the shrine gate on December 24, two days after the winter solstice.
Copyright Komatsu Tenmangu 2007
Copyright Komatsu Tenmangu 2008
Figure 5 summarizes this fact in terms of the red line drawn through the shrine gate toward the Honden, where the northeast direction sitting is indicated by the black bold line drawn from Tenshudai of Komatsu Castle to the shrine.
2 Second Principle: Winter Solstice Alignment of Shrine Buildings
Komatsu Tenmangu 2007