Nearest station

JR Shimbashi

Yamanote Line

Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Shimbashi 2-15-5

東京都港区新橋2-15-5

烏森神社

   Karasumori Jinja

Home page: (Japanese)

May 31, 2018

Enshrined Kami:  

Main

(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names

refer to position in How Many Kami table)

Ukanomitama-mikoto                      倉稲魂命

Ame-no-uzume-mikoto   (68)     天宇受売命

Ninigi-no-mikoto (114)                       邇邇藝命

 

 

From Merged Shrines

None

In-ground Shrines:

None

 

​Annual Festival:    

History

The shrine history board tells us that in 940, before his success in putting down the Taira Masakado-led rebellion in the Eastern Provinces, Fujiwara Hidesato went to an Inari Jinja in the area to prey for success. Just at that time a white fox appeared and gave him an arrow tipped with white feathers. Later, when he wanted to build a shrine in gratitude for his victory over Masakado, the white fox appeared to him in a dream and instructed him to go to a place where there was a flock of divine birds; this would be sacred ground for the shrine. Hidesato found the flock of divine birds in a forest in Sakurada Mura (桜田村), the old name for the area where the shrine is now located, and built what is now Karasumori Jinja.   

In 1455 the fifth and last of the Kamakura-based Ashikaga deputy shōguns (Kantō kubō), Shigeuji (足利成), also prayed at the shrine for victory in war; the documentation accompanying this has been preserved at the shrine ever since and has been designated a cultural asset by Minato-ku.  This means that it survived the 1657 Great Fire of Meireki (Meireki-no-Taika), which is estimated to have destroyed 60%-70% of Edo and claimed about 100,000 lives, comparable to the numbers lost in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake and the 1945 firebombing of the city.  In Edo times Karasumori Inari comprised, along with Yanagimori Jinja (柳森神社) and Sugimori Jinja (椙森神社), the Edo San Mori (江戸三森, lit. Edo Three Shrine Groves). In 1872 the jinja was ranked as a Sonsha, and the following year its name was changed from Karasumori Inari to Karasumori Jinja. The current structure was completed in December 1971.

Description

2 mins on foot from the west exit of Shinbashi Station. Nestled in the busy shopping/entertainment streets around the station this is another urban shrine par excellence. Unlike Meotogi Jinja in Shinjuku this shrine was specifically designed to fit into its confined space and the design is unique. The architect was Kōri Kikuo (郡 菊夫, 1957-2004), and this shrine seems to be the work he is best remembered for.

(Click on images to expand them)

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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated