From Merged Shrines
Minamoto Yoritomo 源 頼朝
Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康
Annual Festival: September 16
Shiba Daijingū is one of the Ten Tōkyō Shrines and one of what I believe are five Daijingū in Tōkyō. It is said to have been constructed during the reign of the Emperor Ichijō (一条) in the year 1005, with the two Ise deities, Amaterasu-Ōkami and Toyōuke-Ōkami, being enshrined through the kanjō process. The shrine was initially called just Shinmei, but given that it was located in the Hibiya district of Musashi Province it came to be known as Hibiya Jinmei (日比谷神明). During the Kamakura Period it was known as Iikura-Jinmeigū (飯倉神明宮) or Shiba-Jinmeigū (芝神明宮) and was granted land by Minamoto Yoritomo. It was initially located in a place called Koyama Shinmei near what is now Akabanebashi, but in 1598 it was moved to its present location as part of the process
of moving Zōjō-ji to the area and quickly received the patronage of the Tokugawa Bakufu. Both inside and outside the shrine teahouses and theatres sprung up and Sumō tournaments and lottery drawings were also held. Perhaps the annual highlight of this kind of activity was the Ginger Festival (Shōga-matsuri, 生姜祭) held each year from September 11th to the 21st. This reflected the shrine’s origins in an area which specialised in the cultivation of ginger.
In 1872 the current name was adopted.
In January 1876 the shrine was burnt down, including 19 auxilary shrines, four of which were outside the shrine grounds. Although rebuilding was completed in March of the following year it was again destroyed during the Great Kantō Earthquake of September 1923. Reconstruction from this disaster was completed by December 1938, but less than seven years later disaster struck again in the form of the firebombing of May 1945. It was not until September 1964 that the final reconstruction was completed.
The shrine grounds are quite small and its visual appeal does lack its historical appeal. The most interesting hands-on aspect of the shrine might well be the temizuya. This is tucked away in a small corner and is not visible as one passes through the torii and proceeds to the haiden. I wonder if this might not lead to some casual visitors not purifying themselves before opening their hearts to the kami.
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