"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
Tōkyō-to, Minato-ku, Mita 3-7-16
Mita Hachiman Jinja
Home page: (Japanese)
May 24, 2018
From Merged Shrines
Ame no Koyane no Mikoto 天兒屋命
Takenouchi no Sukune 武内宿禰
Gokō Inari Jinja 五光稲荷神社
Mitake Jinja 御嶽神社
Annual Festival: August 13
Along with three shrines in Ōta-ku—Hieda Jinja (薭田神社), Rokugo Jinja, and Unoki Hachiman Jinja (鵜ノ木八幡神社)—Mita Hachiman Jinja is one of the four candidates to be the Hiei Jinja mentioned in the Engi-shiki. Said to have been established in August 709 in what was then Hiraoka in Musashi Province (now Mita 1-chōme) to enshrine the guardian deity of Japan’s eastern provinces. In 1011 the shrine was moved to what was then Mita District (御田郷) in Musashi Province and became a centre of worship of the tutelary kami of the Watanabe clan, a tributary family of the 52nd emperor, Saga (嵯峨, 809-823). It became colloquially known as Tsuna Hachiman (綱八幡), after the founder of the Watanabe clan, Watanabe Tsuna, (渡辺綱) a retainer of Mimamoto Yorimitsu.
In 1619 construction of a main hall was begun at what is the present site of the shrine and it was completed in 1628. Just 40 years later, however, the main hall was destroyed by fire and a temporary hall was opened at a nearby temple: in 1672 rebuilding was completed. In September 1869 the shrine was renamed Hiei Jinja, before being again renamed, as Mita (三田) Hachiman Jinja, in 1874 and given the rank of rural district shrine (Gōsha). In 1879 its name was changed again, reverting to the earlier Mita (御田) Hachiman Jinja. Come the fire bombings of 1945 and the main hall, which had survived since 1672, was burnt to a cinder, along with the rest of the shrine. Rebuilding was completed in 1954.
A roughly five min. walk from the A3 exit of Sengakuji Station. For me the most interesting feature of this shrine is the pair of koma-inu in front of the prayer hall. They were erected in 1696 and are among the oldest in Kantō. Takuki says that the oldest ones in Kantō, dating to 1636, are those at the Nikko Tōshō-gū. The Inari Jinja tucked away in the rear of the shrine could be described as quaint in a rundown way.
(Click on images to expand them)
Gokō Inari Jinja