"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
From Merged Shrines
Tōko Jinja 東湖神社
Miki Jinja 三木神社
Tokiwa Inari 常磐稲荷
Tokiwa Sui Jinja 常磐水神社
Annual Festival: May 12
This is the twenty-first of my ex post facto shrine reports. I visited it in April 2012.
The name of the two enshrined kami look somewhat daunting, but they are in fact special names bestowed by Emperor Meiji on the 2nd and 9th feudal lords of the Hitachi (now Ibaraki-ken) Mito Domain, Tokugawa Mitsukuni 徳川光圀 (1628-1701) and Tokugawa Nariaki 徳川斉昭 (1800- 1860) respectively.
Mitsukuni is well known for having commissioned a team of Mito-based scholars to compile a monumental history of Japan, Dai Nihonshi, based on Chinese models. Nariaki built the Kairakuen Garden in Mito-shi, which along with the Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa and the Kourakuen Garden in Okayama is considered to be one of Japan’s three most beautiful gardens. The construction of Kairakuen was basically finished in 1842; in 1868 a small jinja (hokora) enshrining Mitsukuni and Nariaki was built in the garden by local admirers of the pair.
常磐神社 Tokiwa Jinja
Nearest station: Mito Line: JR Jōban
In March 1873 Emperor Meiji decreed that the hokora would be named Tokiwa Jinja and given the rank of prefectural shrine. In October of the same year the two kami were given the “honourable divine names” (御神号) of Takayuzuru-umashi-michine-mikoto and Oshitake-okuni-no-mitate-mikoto by imperial proclamation. On May 12, 1874 the ceremony marking the construction of new shrine buildings and the re-enshrinement of the kami was held, and to commemorate this the shrine’s annual festival is now held on May 12. In 1882 it was given Kampeisha ranking, signifying that it received offerings from the Imperial Household. The indiscriminate bombings by 161 US B29s on August 2, 1945 saw the entire shrine with the exception of the Kagura (Sacred Dance) Hall destroyed. Reconstruction was completed in 1958.
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