It is said this Hikawa Jinja was founded in 740 with the shintai being a crudely carved, two shaku high, image of Susano-o. There is, however, no evidence for this as during the Enbun Period (1356-1360) first fire, and then flooding from the nearby Tama River, destroyed any documentary or other types of evidence which might have existed. In 1570, the lord of the Kitami area, a certain Edo Yoritada (江戸頼忠), restored the by then derelict shrine. He was a descendant of Edo Shigenaga (江戸重長), the second patriarch of the Edo clan who is credited as having given his name to the settlement which became Edo. In 1593 a descendant of Yoritada, Edo Katsutada, changed the family name to Kitami in order to demonstrate fealty to the Tokugawas, and in 1649 the fourth Tokugawa Shōgun, Iemitsu, awarded the shrine a stipend of 10 koku 2 to, and it thereafter continued to enjoy the Tokugawa largesse. In 1682 the then Lord Kitami awarded the shrine a 5- koku 2-to stipend and this was followed five years later by its rebuilding. Jumping forward two centuries, 1873 saw the shrine designated as a village shrine, in 1874 it was elevated to a Gōsha. In 1922 a plan was drawn up to rebuild the main hall, but the devastation caused by the Great Kanto Earthquake of the following year meant that the work was not finished until 1926. Disaster struck again in 1988, however, when the main hall was destroyed by fire. 1990 saw the rebuilding.
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
From Merged Shrines
Inari Jinja 稲荷神社
Tenjin Sha 天神社
Ōyamazumi Jinja 大山祇神社
Tsukiyomi Jinja 月讀神社
Izumo Jinja 出雲神社
Ōtori Jinja 大鳥神社
Sorei Sha 祖霊社
Earliest mention of: 740
Annual Festival: October 2
About 1.4 km, 15 minutes on foot, from Kitami Station. There are Hikawa Jinja in the neighbouring towns of Unane and Ōkura and the three are referred to as the Sansho-Myōjinja (三所明神社). The two most appealing aspects of the shrine for me are the long and peaceful sandō (approach road) and the expression on the face of the koma-inu with the closed mouth in front of the main hall. The second torii on the sandō was designated an Important Tangible Folk Cultural Property by Setagaya-ku in February 1986. Erected in 1654 and made of white mica granite in the Shinmei style it is the oldest stone torii in Setagaya-ku.
(Click on images to expand them)