"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kudankita 1-14-21
March 17, 2020
From Merged Shrines
Taira Masakado 平将門
Yotsugi Inari Jinja 世継稲荷神社世継稲荷神社
Annual Festival: June 15
The shrine’s origin dates back to the defeat and beheading of Taira Masakado at the hands of Fujiwara Hidesato et al in 940. As was the custom at the time, his severed head was put on public display in Kyōto but it was secretly taken to Edo in a bucket specially designed for such a purpose (首桶) and under the name Tsukudo Myōjin became the object of worship in a temple dedicated to Kannon in a place called Tsukudo (津久戸) in Kamihirakawamura (上平河村) in Musashi Province’s Toshima-gun (present day Ōtemachi). With thecompletion of Edo Castle in June 1478 Ōta Dōkan built what is now the current shrine to the northwest of Edo Castle and it quickly became the tutelary deity for the castle and for the Ōta family.In November 1552 the
shrine was moved within Kamihirakawa to a large site in Tayasugun (田安郷), now the area between Kudan-Sakanoue and-saka. It took the name Tayasu Myōjin (田安明神), and along with Kanda Myōjin and Hie Jinja became known as one of the Edo Sansha (Three Edo Shrines).
In 1589 Tokugawa Ieyasu moved into Edo Castle and work soon began on its expansion, particularly the Outer Citadel, and this necessitated the shrine’s relocation, this time to close to what is now Iidabashi Station. Work later began on the castle’s outer moat and in 1616 the shrine moved again, to Tsukudo Hachimanchō (筑土八幡町)in what is now Shinjuku-ku. At this time it took the name Tsukudo Myōjin (築土明神). Thereafter the relationship between the Bakufu and the shrine remained close. In February 1654 the main hall of the Tōshō-gū in Edo Castle’s outer citadel was moved into the shrine grounds, and in a show of support after the Great Meireki Fire of 1657 some valuable items, including a bronze bucket and a gold basket, and some bronze roof tiles were presented to the shrine.
In 1874, seven years after the end of the Bakufu, parishioners successfully petitioned to have Ninigi, (or, to give him his full name, Amatsu-hiko-hono-Ninigi-no-Mikoto) the kami of the August Descent, enshrined and the jinja’s name was changed to Tsukudo Jinja (築土神社). In 1907 it was given village shrine (幣帛供進社) ranking. In the firebombing of April 1945 it was destroyed and in September of the following year it was reopened in Fujimi in Chiyoda-ku. Construction of the Kudan Middle School necessitated another move for the shrine in 1954, this time to the grounds of the Yotsugi Inari Jinja (世継稲荷神社) which was located in what is Tsukudo Jinja’s present site. In September 1990 the shrine celebrated the 1050th anniversary of its foundation. By 1994 its buildings were showing clear signs of wear and tear and the decision to rebuild was taken, rebuild not renovate. An award winning eight-storey building complete with a basement was erected. The shrine, on the ground floor, is a concrete, modernist structure. Along with this, Sugawara Michizane, the kami of the in-ground shrine, Kizugawa Tenman-Gū (木津川天満宮), was jointly enshrined in the new shrine. The new building was named Ilex Building (アイレックスビル). This is a reference to the Mochinoki-saka mentioned above. Mochinoki is the Japanese name of the Nepal Holly tree, the scientific name of which is Ilex integra, and the tree at the left of the torii is of this species.
The pair of koma-inu shown here are the ones in front of the main building. They were donated to the shrine by parishioners in 1780 and are the oldest koma-inu in Chiyoda-ku. They were designated as tangible cultural assets in 1996. The pair are in front of the torii are of much more recent provenance, having been erected in 1994 when the shrine was rebuilt.
(Click on images to expand them)