Tōkyō-to, Itabashi-ku, Naka-chō 46-3

東京都板橋区中町46-3

Nearest station

Nakaitabashi

Tōbu Tōjō Line

轡神社

Kutsuwa Jinja

October 27, 2016

The unique name of this shrine tells us a great deal about it. The kanji for kutsuwa, shown to the right, consists of four elements: the rectangle at the bottom means mouth, the central one on the top means vehicle, and the two at top left and right mean cord. The meaning of the entire kanji is bit, the metal object put in a horse's mouth to give the rider control (I find myself wondering why the element at top centre is not the kanji for horse rather than the one for vehicle).

Be that as it may, the name derives from Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the first of the Tokugawa line of Shōguns, having stopped at the shrine to rest his horse while he was on an inspection tour. On leaving he left behind the horse's bit and its hooves and these became objects of veneration.

 

During the Edo Period the shrine became known as a place which if visited could help cure Whooping cough: on leaving the shrine to return home the sufferer would receive an old straw horseshoe and some hemp fibre: if a cure was effected he or she was expected to return the favour by donating a new straw horseshoe and hemp fibre to the shrine.

Enshrined Deity:  

Yamato-takeru-mikoto         倭建命 

In-ground Shrines: 

None    

Earliest record of:  Unclear 

Annual Festival:     October 10 

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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated