Takata, Yokohama Subway Green Line
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November 23, 2016
This Sugiyama shrine is a little under 2 kms from Takata on the Yokohama Subway Green Line. Turn left out of Exit 3 of the station, take the first left down to the river Hayabuchi, a tributary of the Tsurumi-gawa, turn right, cross the river at the fourth bridge and follow the road to the shrine, it’s almost a straight line. At one stage there is a short, abrupt incline and shortly after this there is a small shrine (hokora) on the right. From there to the back entrance of Sugiyama shrine is about 200 metres.
While the shrine itself is visually not very interesting, its rustic atmosphere is more so. The latter is perhaps best illustrated by the moss-covered sando leading from one of the two torii. An somewhat unusual feature of the shrine is the group of four monkeys supporting its temizuya.
History: We have little knowledge about the history of this shrine, including when it was established. The only evidence I have been able to find possibly asserting its claim to be the Engi-shiki shrine is in a book by Tanigawa Kenichi (Japanese bibliography 18). He cites a piece of folklore saying that near to the shrine a single house had stood for over 1,000 years and that behind this house there was a burial mound about 60m in circumference called Sengen-tsuka. I was unable to find said mound either through physical or Google exploration. The
From Merged Shrines
稲荷神社 Inari Jinja
天神社 Tenjin Sha
Earliest mention of: ?
Annual Festival: October 9
fact that there are no other such burial mounds near the other Engi-shiki contenders is said to make this one the strongest candidate. In 1873 it was formally designated a Village Shrine and in 1908 it absorbed three nearby unranked shrines along with their kami. Gongorou Kagemasa was an 11th Century samurai famous for continuing to fight in a battle after losing an eye when he was sixteen years old. Hino Seihyo is a mystery to me, Hino can be a family name, Seihyo usually means Confucian temple but I have been unable to trace the two words used together.