"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
Tōkyō-to, Itabashi-ku, Naka-chō 46-3
Tōbu Tōjō Line
October 27, 2016
The unique name of this shrine tells us a great deal about it. The kanji for kutsuwa, shown to the right, consists of four elements: the rectangle at the bottom means mouth, the central one on the top means vehicle, and the two at top left and right mean cord. The meaning of the entire kanji is bit, the metal object put in a horse's mouth to give the rider control (I find myself wondering why the element at top centre is not the kanji for horse rather than the one for vehicle).
Be that as it may, the name derives from Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616), the first of the Tokugawa line of Shōguns, having stopped at the shrine to rest his horse while he was on an inspection tour. On leaving he left behind the horse's bit and its hooves and these became objects of veneration.
During the Edo Period the shrine became known as a place which if visited could help cure Whooping cough: on leaving the shrine to return home the sufferer would receive an old straw horseshoe and some hemp fibre: if a cure was effected he or she was expected to return the favour by donating a new straw horseshoe and hemp fibre to the shrine.
Earliest record of: Unclear
Annual Festival: October 10