Nearest station

Umeyashiki

   Keikyu Line

Tōkyō-to, Ōta-ku,  Kamata 3-2-10

東京都大田区蒲田3-2-10

稗田神社

   Hieta Jinja

June 16, 2018

Enshrined Kami:  

Main

(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names

refer to position in How Many Kami table)

Hondawake-no-mikoto   誉田別命

Amaterasu Ōkami (55)    天照大

Takenouchi no Sukune        武内宿禰

Kazuragi Sotsuhiko             葛城襲津彦

Kasuga Ōkami                  春日大神

 

From Merged Shrines

None

In-ground Shrines:

Tenso Jinja                  天祖神社

Sanjūban Jinja            三十番神社

Inari Jinja                     稲荷神社

Yakuso Jinja                薬祖神社

 

​Annual Festival:    September 15

History

My interest in Hieta Jinja is that along with Rokugo Jinja, Mita Hachiman Jinja, and Unoki Hachiman Jinja (鵜ノ木八幡神社), it is one of the four candidates to be the Hieta Jinja mentioned in the Engi-shiki. Indeed, its shagōhyō declares it to be an Engi-shiki Jinja.

The shrine legend tells us that in the year 709 the Buddhist monk, Gyōki, made shintai (divine images) of Amaterasu Ōkami, Hachiman, and Kasuga and enshrined them. Over five centuries later, in 1282, the eponymous founder of the Nichiren Buddhist sect acceded to the entreaties of local residents and allowed public viewing of the shintai. That the three shintai existed and were worshipped is probably a matter of fact, the existence of what is now the Hieta Jinja is more one of conjecture.

 

By the time of the Emperor Suinin (69BC – 70AD) there was a settlement in the area, along with which came sites considered sacred, other sites considered suitable for

 

ceremonies, in other words the elements necessary for a shrine were in place.The first historical reference to what may have been a Hieta Jinja is in the Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku (Veritable Record of Three Generations of Emperors of Japan), published in 901, where a jinja enshrining Kamata Kami in Musashi Province is listed. In the Engi Shiki, completed in 967, mention is made of two shrines in Ebara-gun, Musashi Province, Hieta Jinja and Iwai Jinja. However, numerous researchers have questioned the use of the “Hieta” name in the Nihon Sandai Jitsuroku, saying that by the time the work was compiled there was already a place named Kamata and the Hieta name was the result of a copying or transcription error; the real name of the shrine was Kamata, not Hieta, Jinja. As for the use in the Engi Shiki, the contention is that a monk at the shrine’s betto-ji, Eirin-ji (榮林寺, Kamata 3-1-6), assumed from the area’s history that the shrine name was Hieta and successfully registered it with the Department of Divinities. In 1872 it was designated a gōsha: it is currently a kenmusha of Kamata Hachiman Jinja.

Note that the two kami, Takenouchi-no-Sukune and Katsuragi Sotsuhiko are semi-historical persons,  father and son , and Takenouchi is said to have been an advisor to five emperors between 71 and 399. His 73rd generation descendant, Takeuchi Mitshiro (竹内睦泰), is the current custodian of what is a fascinating, if fanciful, family history. Of that, more later.

 

Description

About 700m from Umeyashiki Station.  The main torii is one of the oldest in Ōta-ku. Erected in 1800 it is made of granite and is 310 cm tall, 314 cm wide. The shrine was basically destroyed in the firebombing of April 15, 1945, and while a temporary main hall was quickly put together it was not until 1954 that it was properly rebuilt. Further work was done in 2000. The koma-inu,  dating to 1959 are relatively recent, .

(Click on images to expand them)

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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated