Nearest station

Ochanomizu

   JR/Subway Marunouchi & Chiyoda Lines

Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda 2-16-2

東京都千代田区外神田2-16-2

神田神社

  Kanda Jinja

November 24, 2018

History

The shrine legend tells us that it was founded in 730 by Makanda Omi (真神田臣). a descendant of Ōkuninushi at a site in what is now the Ōtemachi side of the Imperial Palace. Ōkuninushi was the original enshrined kami under one of his alternative names, Ōnamuchi-no-mikoto (大己貴命). He was joined almost six centuries later by Taira Masakado, the instigator of the Tengyō-no-ran rebellion against the central government in Kyōto. He established a base for himself in the area where the shrine was located, but the area was soon beset by a series of natural disasters: these were seen by the inhabitants as being caused by Masakado's revengeful spirit reacting to divine displeasure at his violent past. In 1309 a wandering monk of the Jishu sect, Shinkyō Shōnin (真教上人), arrived at the area and temporarily settled at the nearby Nichirin-ji (日輪寺) Temple. On learning of the situation he sought out Masakado's spirit, was able to comfort it, and in due course Masakado was enshrined along with Ōnamuchi. Along with Sugawara Michizane nad Emperoor Sutoku he is one of Japan's Big Three Vengeful Ghosts. 

Enshrined Kami:  

Main

(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names

refer to position in How Many Kami table)

Ōnamuchi-no-mikoto              大己貴命

Sukunabi-kona-no-kami (101) 少名毘古那神

Taira Masakado                    平将門命

From Merged Shrines

None

In-ground Shrines:

Kagoso Jinja                              籠祖神社

Kotohira Mishuku Inari Jinja  金刀比羅三宿稲荷神社

Urayasu Inari Jinja                    浦安稲荷神社

Suehiro Inari Jinja                    末広稲荷神社

Uogashi Sui Jinja                 魚河岸水神社

Ōdenma-chō Yakumo Jinja    大伝馬町八雲神社

Kobune-chō Yakumo Jinja     小舟町八雲神社

Edo Jinja                                   江戸神社

​Annual Festival:  May 15

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Jumping forward another three centuries, the Battle of Sekigahara, which took place in October 1600, ended in victory for the Tokugawa clan and is usually considered to mark the beginning of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Prior to the battle Tokugawa Ieyasu visited the shrine to pray for victory. In 1603 it was moved to a temporary site along with the expansion of Edo Castle and in 1616 it was moved to its present site to the north-east of the castle to act as the guardian deity against the negative influences thought to emanate from that inauspicious kimon direction. Thereafter the Tokugawa Bakufu were keen supporters of the shrine and funded successive rebuildings and renovations. In 1662, the 112th emperor, Reigen (霊元天皇), presented the shrine with a scroll written in his own hand referring to it as Kanda Daimyōjin.

 

Description

A five min walk from Ochanomizu Station. One of the Ten Tōkyō Shrines. The main hall, which was built in 1782, was destroyed in the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923. It was rebuilt in 1934 as a ferro-concrete structure, most unusual for the time, and this enabled the building to avoid serious structural damage in the firebombing of 1945. There is much to see here; of particular interest to me are the large statue of Daikokuten and the kitsune  in front of the Suehiro Inari in-ground Jinja, which may have been founded in 1616.

(Click on images to expand them)

Kanda Jinja  Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda 2-16-2
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Daikokuten 大黒天
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Daikokuten 大黒天
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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated