"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
Ginza, Tobu Skytree, Toei Asakusa Lines
Tōkyō-to, Taitō-ku, Imado 1-5-22
October 26, 2017
It is said that the Imado Jinja was founded as Imado Hachiman in 1063 by the father-son team of Minamoto Yoriyoshi and Yoshiie when they were on their way home after subduing the Ōshū Province. En route they established bunshi of Kyōto’s Iwashimizu Hachimangū in Kamakura’s Tsurugaoka and Edo’s Hinotsu, now Imado. In 1081, Yoshiie was passing through Hinotsu on his way to put down the rebellion of the Kiyohara brothers, Takehira and Iehara, and prayed at the shrine for success. He achieved a splendid victory and thanked the kami by rebuilding the shrine’s main hall. Moving on to the Edo Period, the main hall was again rebuilt, this time by the third Tokugawa Shōgun, Iemitsu. More recently, in September 1923, the shrine was reduced to ashes by the Great Kantō earthquake and seemingly no sooner had it been rebuilt than the March 1945 fire bombing and other attacks again reduced it to rubble. In between these disasters, in July 1937, the shrine was merged with the neighbouring Hakusan Jinja and the new entity renamed Imado Jinja. The current main hall was built in 1971.
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
From Merged Shrines
Earliest mention of: 1063
About 1.5-1.7ks from Asakusa Station and unless you want to go through the tourist hell that Kaminarimon and Sensoji have become I would suggest skirting the tourist complex to the south and walking the 700 ms or so to the Sumida River. From there it is a pleasant walk along the river bank and/or the adjoining park to close to the shrine. It is one of the Tōkyō Shitamachi Eight Fuku-Jin, and houses one of the Asakusa Shichi Fukujin (Asakua Seven Lucky Gods), Fukurokuju. On approaching the main torii it is hard not to see the signs declaring that the shrine is the birthplace of the Maneki-neko. It should be noticed, however, that there are other claimants for that honour, including three temples in Tōkyō--Gōtoku-ji in Setagaya-ku, Jishō-in Shinjuku-ku, Saiho-ji in Toyoshima-ku—and Kyōtō’s Fushimi-Inari Taisha. Be that as it may, the inanimate feline presence is inescapable throughout Imado Jinja. In addition to the maneki-neko carvings around the grounds and the large ceramic ones worshipped in the main hall there are probably thousands of ema bearing their image adorning the emakakejo.
(Click on images to expand them)