Nearest station

Ontakesan

Tōkyū Ikegami  Line

Tōkyō-to, Ōta-ku,  Kitamine-machi 37-20

東京都大田区北嶺町37-20

御嶽神社 (北嶺町)

  Ontake Jinja (Kitamine-machi)

Home page: (Japanese)

June 30, 2017

History

It is thought that the origins of the shrine were contemporaneous with the emergence of Mine-mura, the present-day Mine-machi, around 1535. Until the late 1820s it remained very small, the Shin-pen-Musashi-Fudo-Kiko mentions  a small hokora in the area. Around that time there was an ascetic, Issan Gyōja (一山行者), who had been subjecting himself to strict austerities  on Mt. Kiso Ontake in Nagano-ken. One night he had a dream in which the kami of the three Mitake Jinja told him to leave the mountain and, while preaching the word and trying to alleviate human suffering, head towards Edo where, about 12km from the city  he would find a place to which he was tied by fate.  He did as the kami bade him and the place he found was the hokora  in Mine-mura. Through the kanjō/bunrei process he enshrined the Ontake deities there and under his spiritual guidance the shrine thereafter grew by leaps and bounds. In 1831 a new main hall of about the same size as the present one was built. Among the faithful who flocked to the shrine were many wealthy merchants and it seems they were quite generous with their donations. Other people who came to the shrine in large numbers were followers of the Kiso Ontake mountain cult living in Kantō and this situation continued until WWII.

Enshrined Deities:  

Main

Kuni-no-tokotachi-kami (6)       国之常立神    

From Merged Shrines

Kunisatsuchi-no-mikoto            国狭槌命

Toyo-kumono-kami  (7)           豊雲野神

In-ground Shrines: 

Issan Jinja                 一山神社

Ōtori Jinja                  大鳥神社

Shichifuku Inari Jinja   七福稲荷神社

Earliest mention of:   1535

Annual Festival:   Sept. 17/18 

There seems to have been a saying that three visits to the shrine were equivalent to a visit to Mt. Kiso Ontake itself.

Description

The visually most interesting aspects of this shrine are the carvings on the main hall done by Fujiwara Tokuoki (藤原篤意), about whom very little is known, suggesting that this is the only remaining example of his work. Behind the main hall at the rear of the shrine is the Reijin-no-Mori (lit. Forest of the Kami, 霊神の杜). This contains 30 large stones on which are engraved the names of the kami of the Kiso Ontake shrines and of the various groups involved in their worship.

(Click on images to expand them)

Mitake Jinja  御嶽神社
Carvings by  藤原篤意 (Fujiwara Tokuoki)
Issan Jinja   一山神社
Reijin-no-Mori  霊神の杜
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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated