Nearest station

Nezu

Chiyoda Line

Tōkyō-to, Bunkyō-ku, Nezu 1-28-9

東京都文京区根津1-28-9

根津神社

   Nezu Jinja

Home page: (Japanese)

November 3, 2017

History

It is not clear when Nezu Jinja was founded, but it is said that there was an old shrine in Sendagi、near to the current site of the shrine, which was said to have been built by Yamato Takeru when he was in the area. Sometime during the Bunmei Period (1469~1487) Ōta Dōkan dedicated a main hall at the old shrine. The main deity of the shrine was Susano-o and there were two secondary deities,  Sannō Gongen and Hachiman Daibosatsu: together they were referred to as the Three Nezu Daigongen and the shrine became known as the Nezu Gongen.

In 1705 the fifth Tokugawa Shōgun, Tsunayoshi, adopted Ienobu, his elder brother Tsunashige’s son, as his heir. Ienobu went to live in Edo Castle, and he was worshipped at the Nezu Gongen as the guardian deity of his birthplace. The shrine then moved to its present site when Ienobu donated his Edo estate (which had been the Edo home of the Kōfu Domain from whence he hailed). The following year the shrine was given a 500-koku license to trade (shuinjō)  and all six of its main buildings were completed. Fortunately all six buildings survived

Enshrined Kami:  

Main

(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names

refer to position in How Many Kami table)

Susano-o-no mikoto (57)              須佐之男命

Ōyamazumi-kami (22)                   大山祇神

Hondawake-no-mikoto                  誉田別命

 

From Merged Shrines

Ōkuni-nushi-no-mikoto (80)         大國主命

Sugawara no Michizane               菅原道真

In-ground Shrines: 

Otome-Inari Jinja                     乙女稲荷神社

Komagome-Inari Jinja               駒込稲荷神社

Earliest mention of:   

Annual Festival:    Sept. 21

the fires to which Edo was so susceptible over the centuries (referred to colloquially as "The Flowers of Edo"), and in 1931 the shrine was designated an Important Cultural Property of Japan. Prior to this its name had been changed from Nezu Kongen to Nezu Jinja following the enactment of the Separation of Shintō and Buddhism Ordinance (Shinbutsu Bunri) in 1868.

Description

About five minutes' walk from exit 1 of Nezu Station. One of the Ten Tōkyō Shrines, and very interesting. Both of the two in-ground Inari JInja probably warrant writing up on their own account, while the main buildings of the shrine all date back to the first decade of the eighteenth century and are of great aesthetic interest. The whole shrine is a photographer's delight, and with the main hall affording a riot of colours it is not just the torii tunnels of the Otome-Inari Jinja which can be described as colourful. The shrine is keen to add to the number of torii in its vermilion tunnels: there is a sign to the side of the tunnel saying that applications for new torii are now being accepted at a cost of ¥100,000 per torii. This may be standard practice, but it is the first time I have come across it. In addition to the shrine itself being a national cultural property, four structures in the shine have been designated as cultural properties by Bunkyō-ku. One of the more unusual of these is the Enazuka (lit. "Placenta Mound") of Tokugawa Ienobu. From late April to early May the shrine holds the Bunkyō Azalea festival. There are about 100 species, 3,000 trees in the grounds and during the festival the main hall is open to the public, it usually is not.

(Click on images to expand them)

Nezu Jinja  根津神社
 
 
徳川家宣胞衣塚 Placenta Mound of Tokugawa Ienobu
 
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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated