"...any being whatsoever which possesses some eminent quality out of the ordinary, and is awe-inspiring, is called Kami.”
Tōkyō-to, Katsushika-ku, Shibamata 3-30-24 東京都葛飾区柴又3-30-24 May 7, 2022
From Merged Shrines
Suwa Jinja 諏訪神社
Inari Jinja 稲荷神社
Annual Festival: October 10
Was the tutelary shrine for Shibamata Village. Its betto-ji was the nearby Shinsho-in (真勝院). It is aboout 300 sq.m. in area. While its origins are unclear, it is thought that the Shimamatari Village (島俣里) mentioned in the Shosoinmonjo (正倉院文書) is what is now Shibamata in Kataushika-ku. By extension the current Shibamata Jinja is quite old.
The shrine’s main hall was built on a 6th century kofun (ancient burial mound) . This is attested to by the existence of stones layed out in patterns traditionally used in kofun to its rear. The stone used in this, Boshu stone (房州石), was quarried in what is now Chiba-ken.
The main hall has been renovated or rebuilt several times- in 1633, 1753, 1787, 1856, 1926/27, 1932, and finally in 1968. In 1965 the burial mound was excavated. It was about 20-30 metres wide and contained items often found in kofun such as haniwa, swords, horse tack, and unglazed pottery. These are now housed in the Shimamata Mound near the main hall.
On a lighter, more contemporary note, Shibamata was the locale for the very popular 1968-69 TV series “Otoko wa tsurai yo” (It’s tough being a man). The star of the series was Kiyoshi Atsumi (渥美 清), and it seems that on the anniversary of his death on August 4, 2013 a haniwa thought to very closely resemble him was unearthed from the kofun: this made the national news.
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