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Maita

Yokohama Subway BlueLine

Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Minami-ku, Maita-chō 105

神奈川県横浜市南区蒔田町105

西森稲荷神社

   Nishimori Inari Jinja

Home page: None

November 30, 2017

I visited the Nishimori Inari Jinja not knowing what to expect as I had done no research on it: if I had had any expectations the reality would have far exceeded them. There is little information available on the web, why this should be so is a mystery to me because in its own quiet, incoherent way it is fascinating. So fascinating in fact that I was moved to poetry (of a sort)

multitudinous kitsune

choate and inchoate

Inari Ōkami

incarnate and idiosyncratic

figurines galore

torii tiny and tall

History

Until Edo times the Nishimori Inari Jinja was known as either Maita Inari or Ōhara Inari and the enshrined deity was Toyouke Ōkami, (another name for Uka-no-mitama-kami (75)) goddess of food and the five grains. During the Edo Period the area where the shrine was located was exempted from taxes. In the Meiji Period it was merged with the nearby Sugiyama Jinja pursuant to the Shrine Merger Order of December 1906. Resistance to the merger from parishioners, however, was strong, particularly

Enshrined Kami:  

Main

(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names

refer to position in How Many Kami table)

Uka-no-mitama-kami (75)            宇迦之御魂神

 

From Merged Shrines

None

In-ground Shrine Deities:

Ōhara Inari Ōkami                   大原稲荷大神

Mikasayama Ōkami                 三笠山大神           

Tanohara Daikokuten               田ノ原大黒天

Hakkaisan Ōkami                    八海山大神

Toyokawa Inari Ōkami             豊川稲荷大神

Sarutahiko Ōkami                    猿田彦大神

Osazuke Inari Ōkami                    お授け稲荷大神

Nishimori Inari Ōkami              西森稲荷大神

Tsuyuki-hime-funadama Ōkami 露木姫船玉大神

Earliest mention of: ? 

Annual Festival: ?  

after they all experienced a divinely inspired dream telling them that even though it was disappointing that the shrine should be moved away from where it had been for several hundred years and merged out of existence, the divine spirit would nevertheless stay in the area and ensure its tranquillity. Spurred on by this, volunteers from Maita-chō approached the appropriate government authorities and succeeded in receiving a permit to keep Nishimori Inari Jinja where it was, although it remained subordinate to the Sugiyama Jinja. Note that the shrine is now a kenmusha of  the Kotohiraōwashi Jinja in Maganechō, Minami-ku. In a further sign of divine grace the shrine emerged unscathed from the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923, even though over 80% of the areas around the  Ōoka and Nakamura Rivers, between which the shrine is situated, was destroyed. On another occasion the priest of the shrine woke up  on hearing the voice of a kitsune emissary from the kami warning him that the shrine on top of the hill was under threat from fire and was able to pre-empt the disaster.

 

Description

Situated on a small hill 6-7 minutes on foot from Maita Station. On approaching the shrine the first thing the visitor sees is the  main hall framed in the vermilion torii, picturesque, but not unusually so. Ascend the stone stairway to the right of the main hall to an jumble of small shrines and kami and kitsune and figurines and carvings. Enjoy the 50 photos below, which if the old adage is correct should be equivalent to 50,000 words.

(Click on images to expand them)

西森稲荷神社 Nishimori Inari Jinja

Mikasayama Ōkami   三笠山大神 

Mikasayama Ōkami   三笠山大神
Mikasayama Ōkami   三笠山大神
Mikasayama Ōkami   三笠山大神

Hakkaisan Ōkami  八海山大神

Hakkaisan Ōkami  八海山大神
Hakkaisan Ōkami  八海山大神

Ōhara Inari Ōkami   大原稲荷大神

Ōhara Inari Ōkami   大原稲荷大神
Ōhara Inari Ōkami   大原稲荷大神
Ōhara Inari Ōkami   大原稲荷大神

Nishimori Inari Ōkami   西森稲荷大神

Tanohara Daikokuten   田ノ原大黒天

Tsuyuki-hime-funadama Ōkami   露木姫船玉大神

Toyokawa Inari Ōkami 豊川稲荷大神

Sarutahiko Ōkami   猿田彦大神

Osazuke Inari   お授け稲荷大神

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated