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秩父神社

     Chichibu Jinja

Nearest station: Chichibu    Line: Chichibu Railway:

Saitama-ken, Chichibu-shi, Banba-machi 1−3 J   埼玉県秩父市番場町1−3      Date

Sacred Tokyo 40 Shinto Shrines

Enshrined Kami:  

Main

Yagokoro-Omoikane-kami         八意思金神

​Chichibu-hiko-Mikoto             知知夫彦命

Ame-no-minaka-nushi                 天御中主

Yasuhito, Prince Chichibu          秩父宮雍仁親王

 

From Merged Shrines

None

In-ground Shrines:

Hahaso-Soreisha       柞祖霊社

Magatsuhi-sha           禍津日社

Hahaso-Inari Jinja     柞稲荷神社

Tenman Tenjinsha    天満天神社

Suwa Jinja                   諏訪神社

Tosho-Gu                     東照宮

Hinomisaki Jinja       日御碕神社

Toyokedai-Jingu         豊受大神宮

Kotai-Jingu                  皇大神宮

Tenjinchigisha            天神地祇社

​Annual Festival:     December 3

The Kokuzo-hongi chapter of the Sendaikuji-hongi tells us that Chichibu Jinja was founded during the reign of Emperor Sujin (97 BC-30BC) by Chichibu-hiko-Mikoto to worship  Yagokoro-Omoikane-Kami, the first regional administrator of Chichibu Province, and of whom Chichibu-hiko was a tenth generation descendant.

Included as it is in the Engi-Shiki and having celebrated its 2100th anniversary in  2014 it is one of Kanto’s oldest and most eminent shrines. During the Kamakura Period it was merged with a nearby temple, Myoken-ji, where Taira Yoshifumi was worshipped. The new complex was known as Chichibu Myoken-Gu until 1868, when it reverted to its original name of Chichibu Jinja following the enactment of the Distinction between Shinto and Buddhism OrderIn 1928 it was given Kokuhei-kosha ranking. 

The current main hall was built in 1592 with the support of Tokugawa Ieyasu and has been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by Saitama Prefecture.

The shrine’s annual festival, the “Chichibu Night Festival”, is held on December 3, and has been designated by the national government as both an important intangible folk cultural asset​ and an important cultural property. It is also one of Japan's Top Three Float Festivals, and in 2016 along with thirty-three other Japanese festivals was designated by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.

Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社

The Three Wise Monkeys and the Three Spirited Monkeys

In the world of jinja the three monkeys at the Nikko Toshogu are undoubtedly more well known than Chichibu Jinja's three monkeys. While both sets are of Tokugawa provenance the expressions on the monkeys's faces are totally different. The Toshogu ones derive from the Taoist Koshin faith and are known as the Three Wise Monkeys who "see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil". In complete contrast the Chichibu ones, known as the Three Spirited Monkeys (お元気三猿), "see well, hear well, and speak well".  According to the shrine's home page this makes them much more relevant to the contemporary world. 

(Click on images to expand them)

Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
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Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社

see no evil, hear no evil,speak no evil.

Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社

see well, hear well,speak well.

Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社
Chichibu Jinja  秩父神社