There are two theories as to the origin of this Hikawa Jinja. The first dates it to 942 when Minamoto Tsunemoto, then engaged in the Tengyō no Ran campaign, set up a shrine in what is now Ipponmatsu in Azabu (麻布一本松). The second attributes its foundation to Ōta Dōkan in the second half of the fifteenth century, and he saw its function as protecting Edo against disaster. It is said that the shrine grounds were over 2,000 tsubo (about 6,600 square metres) in extent, but the land actually belonged to Zōjōji Temple (増上寺) and in 1659 the shrine was moved to its present location.
The new location offered splendid views in all directions,
From Merged Shrines
Ōkyō Inari 應恭稲荷
Takao Inari 高尾稲荷
Annual Festival: Nearest weekend to September 17
including one of Mt. Fuji in the distance, and this attracted some of the Tokugawa Shōguns who used it as a base for falconry and other outings. The second Shōgun, Hidetada, prayed at the shrine for a safe childbirth for his legal wife, Asai Oeyo(浅井江): the prayers seem to have been effective as she gave birth to a son who became the third Tokugawa Shōgun. The fifth Shōgun, Iemitsu, a Noh aficionado, was also a frequent visitor to the shrine, as was his mother, Keishōin (桂昌院). In the Edozu Shōtaizen published in 1695 the shrine was identified as Azabu Taimyōjin. (麻布太明神). Azabu itself was unscathed by two major disasters which devastated large parts of the city in the early Edo Period and this made the area very attractive to many daimyō. In 1871 its name was changed to Hikawa Jinja and it was given Gōsha status.The main hall was damaged during the firebombing of 1945 and was rebuilt as a ferro-concrete structure in 1948.
A comfortable seven-eight minute walk from Azabujūban Station. One of the Seven Edo Hikawa Jinja; of more historical than visual appeal and probably of interest only to history buffs. Even so, it attracted wide popular interest following the publication in 1992 of the manga created by Takeuchi Naoko, “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” (美少女戦士セーラームーン). This features five young girls protecting the world against evil, one of whom, Rei Hino, is depicted as living with her grandfather and serving as a miko at Azabu Hikawa Jinja. She also has ambitions of becoming chief priest there. The manga was later made into a TV programme and other media formats followed.
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