Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Isogo-ku, 西町１−１
Negishi Hachiman Jinja
March 1, 2020
The Isogo Shiwa, anecdotal rather than historical, tells us that in August of the year 543 a golden light emitting a beautiful sound suddenly appeared off the coast at Negishi. After seven days the light slowly drifted towards the coast and deposited something close to the mouth of the River Hachiman. Slowly the light faded away and the sound died down. On close inspection the something turned out to be a carving of a kami shining with a black lustre. An elder from the local village immediately identified it as a kami sent from far across the seas to protect their village and it was forthwith taken to the house of the village headman. As the villagers were one by one paying their respects to the newly arrived kami one of the accompanying children seemingly became possessed by a spirit and proclaimed that he was the true Hachiman and had come over the surging seas to protect the village and its inhabitants and that they should build a shrine for him in Shibahara near where he had come ashore. The spirit then left the child and the villagers built a shrine in Shibahara on the east bank of the
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
From Merged Shrines
Usa Hachiman Ōkami 宇佐八幡大神
Ōyamakui-no-kami (104D) 大山咋神
Inari Jinja 稲荷神社
Kotohira Jinja 金刀比羅神社
Itsukushima Jinja 厳島神社
Annual Festival: September 15
lower reaches of the River Hachiman with the carving of the true Hachiman as the enshrined kami. The shrine became known as the Hachiman-Gū and its annual festival, the Reisai, was celebrated by the villagers of Negishi Village on September 15.
The centuries passed, and over a millennium later, in 1651, a land survey resulted in Shibahara being merged into a nearby village called Takegashira and the Negishi villagers losing their tutelary deity. They began worshiping at an improvised shrine in the grounds of the nearby Shirataki Fudōson Temple. Over a century passed until on January 15, 1766 Hachiman Daibosatsu appeared to the temple`s chief priest in a dream and announced that he wanted to be moved back to Negishi Village and worshipped at shrines in both Negishi and Takegahara. His wishes were carried out and on July 15 of the same year the Hachiman-Gū in the Fudōson Temple was moved to its present location in what been an Inari Jinja owned by a temple, Hōshaku-ji. On the vacated site a new shrine, Hachimanbashi Hachiman Jinja, was built. The relocated shrine became known as Moto Hachiman, “the Original Hachiman,” and Hōshaku-ji served as betto-ji for both. With the enactment of the Separation of Shintō and Buddhism Ordinance in 1869 the Hachimanbashi Hachiman Jinja was disestablished and Moto Hachiman became the sole tutelary deity for Negishi Village. In 1875 the Reisai was changed from September 15 to August 15, and in 1908 five other local shrines were merged into Moto Hachiman in line with the "one village one shrine" policy.
In 1923 the stone torii and other structures were damaged; reconstruction was completed in 1931. In 1938 the nearby Shirayama Gongen-sha was destroyed during a torrential rain storm and its kami were jointly enshrined in the honden. The in-ground Inari Jinja is said to have been the one originally owned by Hōshaku-ji and is thus sometimes referred to as "Jinushi Inari," (地主稲荷, "Landlord Inari.") Directly behind the shrine, and a good climb up, is the Negishi Kyūkaigansen no mori 根岸旧海岸線の森 (Negishi Forest Park) and this has been designated as one of Kanagawa-ken’s 50 beautiful forests (美林). It contains 350 cherry trees and the Equine Museum of Japan is situated next to the park’s main entrance. This, though, is about 1k from the shrine.
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