Nearest station

Kitasenju

JR Joban, Subway Chiyoda & Hibiya Lines

Tōkyō-to, Adachi-ku, Senjū Naka-chō 48-2

東京都足立区千住仲町48-2

氷川神社 (仲町)

Hikawa Jinja (Naka-chō) 

Home page: None

September 2, 2017

Enshrined Deities:  

Main

Susano-o-no mikoto (57)   須佐之男命

From Merged Shrines

Ōkuni-nushi-Ōkami (80)     大國主大神

In-ground Shrines: 

Sekiya Tenman-gū            関屋天満宮

Enoshima Jinja/ Benzaiten 江島神社(弁財天)

Mitsumine Jinja                     三峰神社

Inari Jinja                                稲荷神社

Earliest mention of:   1616

Annual Festival:  September 15 

History

The antecedent of the current Naka-chō Hikawa Jinja seems to have been a small shrine, Moto-Miya, in a village called Ushida to the southeast of the current location. This shrine is said to have been set up during the Engi Era (901-923) but thereafter slowly fell into disuse and was abandoned for several centuries. In the early Edo Period, 1616 to be precise, a feudal lord, Ishide Yoshitane by name, from Tōtōmi Province, now the western part of Shizuoka-ken, built an embankment around land he was developing in what is now Kitasenju. This included the old Moto-Miya in Ushida, on the site of which a new shrine was built. The deity of the Musashi Province Ichinomiya Hikawa Jinja, Susano-o-no mikoto (57), was enshrined there through the bunrei process, and it is said that an effigy of Kannon which Ishide Yoshitane had brought from Tōtōmi was also worshipped there. Until the end of the Bakufu the shrine’s affairs were managed under the Betto-ji system by a temple, the Shirahata-yama Yakushiji Fudoin (白幡山薬師寺不動院), which can still be found at Senju 1-2-2.

Description

About ten minutes on foot from Kitasenju Station. An unusual feature of the shrine is the western style metal railing around the prayer hall. As shown above, there are four in-ground shrines, two of which, Sekiya Tenman-gū and Enoshima Jinja/ Benzaiten have their own distinctive histories. Sekiya Tenman-gū is said to have been founded in 949 and had as its shintai a self-portrait by Sugawara no Michizane. In the second half of the twelfth century Minamoto Yoritomo ordered the opening of a checkpoint (sekisho) nearby and the area became known as Sekiya (place with a barrier) and Sekiya was prefixed to the Tenman-gū's name. As a result of periodic flooding, however, the shrine was moved to its present location in 1787. The Enoshima Jinja is one of the Senju Shichi Fukujin locations, Benzaiten is the deity. The depiction of the goddess with a sword in her right hand, a wish-fulfilling jewel in her left hand and three monkeys carved on the dais is apparently unique in Tōkyō.  

(Click on images to expand them)

Hikawa Jinja (Naka-chō) 氷川神社 (仲町)
Enoshima Jinja/ Benzaiten 江島神社弁財天
Sekiya Tenman-gū  関屋天満宮
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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated