From Merged Shrines
This Inari Jinja is located 350m to the west of Ayase Jinja across the Ayase River. It is jammed between two houses and is not visible from the road. Please note that when I visited it the torii shown in the photo was no longer there. The original photo can be found here.
Just when it was established is not clear, but it has a close connection to the Kosuge Palace (小菅御殿). The latter no longer exists, but was in the grounds of what is now the Tokyo Detention Center and an old drawing of the palace shows the shrine about 350m to the northeast, where it acts as a guardian against the inauspicious influences thought to come from that direction in Taoism (鬼門).
The shrine is colloquially known in the neighbourhood as as “Yashiki-sama,” (お屋敷さま) lit. the honourable residence, and this arises from the fact that its affairs were controlled by the residents of the Kosuge Palace. Among these were Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu (柳沢吉保,1658-1714), a samurai who was close to the fifth Tokugawa Shogun, Tsunayoshi; and the Ina clan (伊奈氏). At one stage the palace was used to store unhulled rice for years when the harvest was bad (momikura籾蔵).
After the Meiji Restoration one of these residents reportedly returned to Itoya Village, as Ayase was known until 1889, and told the local inhabitants that as the mansion hosed their Kami it was now up to them to look after it, and the shrine, which they did.
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