"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
Tōkyō-to, Shinjuku-ku, Akagi Motomachi 1-10
December 12, 2016
Tradition has it that in the year 1300 a member of the powerful Ōgoshi samurai clan which dominated the Akagiyama area of Kōzuke Province (now the geographical centre of Gifu-ken) moved to what is now Komagome in Tōkyō. He built a branch of his hometown's Akagi Jinja there: in 1460 it was moved to another nearby location--this at the behest of the samurai Ōta Dōkan who oversaw the construction of Edo Castle--and in 1555 was moved to its current site. In 1683 it was recognized as one of Edo's major shrines by the Tokugawa government. In 1842 it was completely destroyed by fire but was soon rebuilt, and in 1868, the first year of the Meiji Restoration, was formally named Akagi Jinja. On April 13, 1945 it was again reduced to ashes, a casualty of the US fire-bombing of that day. The main hall was rebuilt in 1951.
Despite its relatively long history it is its modernity which now distinguishes this Akagi Jinja. From 2009 to 2011 the site on which it stands was redeveloped to include an apartment building, a gallery and a cafe, as well as the shrine. Substantial financial help was received from a major real estate developer and the chief architect on the project was the well-known Kuma Kengō. The shrine is unabashedly modern featuring as much glass as wood and koma-inu the likes of which I have seen nowhere else. I must confess to find myself wondering how they will look in a hundred years' time.
Akagi Shussei-Inari Jinja 赤城出世稲荷神社
Keisetsu Jinja 螢雪天神
Earliest mention of: 1300
Annual Festival: September 19