It is not clear exactly when this shrine was founded but the presence in its grounds of a large ginkgo (maidenhair) tree thought to be over 1,000 years old hints at its antiquity.
The shrine legend tells us that when the Kantō provinces were still in a state of chronic unrest it was established to worship Takemikazuchi, a kami of the military arts, and to enable people to pray for the success of the central government in Kyōto. At this time the shrine was known as Takemikazuchi-no-Miya. The 12th, legendary, emperor, Keikō (reigned 71 – 130 AD) is said to have escaped a robbery attempt by taking refuge in the shrine while he was on a tour of the region. In the mid sixth century the disorder in the area had still not died down and the 29th emperor, Kinmei (reigned 531-579), gave the shrine some gifts and had four kami, Futsunushi, Kukuri-hime, Izanagi, and Izanami, jointly enshrined. Towards the end of the Heian Period the area in which the shrine was located was taken over by Kawasaki Motoie (河崎基家), a samurai from a branch of the Taira Chichibu clan. Using the kanjō process he had Sannō Gongen enshrined and the shrine became known as Kawasaki Sannō-sha.
Jumping forward several centuries to the Kamakura Period, the shrine was granted 700 koku of land and on the instructions of the founder of the Kamakura
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
Takemikazuchi-no-o-kami (41) 樋速日神
From Merged Shrines
Ōtori Jinja 大鷲神社
Hotta Inari Jinja 堀田稲荷神社
Kawasaki Tenman-sha 河崎天満社
Shirayama Jinja 白山神社
Mitsumine Jinja 三峰神社
Mitake Jinja 御嶽神社
Yasaka Jinja 八坂神社
Matsuo Jinja 松尾神社
Fukuda Inari Jinja 福田稲荷神社
Annual Festival: August 2
Shogunate, Minamoto Yoritomo, new shrine buildings were constructed. With the ascendancy of the Ashikaga Shōgunate, however, the shrine’s fortunes took a turn for the worse when its landholdings were cut back to just 20 koku because one of its chief priests at the time had close ties to the Nitta clan, one of the main enemies of the Ashikagas. The Edo Period proved to be much better. Early in the period, perhaps under Hideyoshi, the shrine was given 20 koku of land, and after Tokugawa Ieyasu’s entry into the new capital it is said that he and Tenkai visited the shrine and presented it with a red gate (zuishin-mon) and a statue of a divine horse. The shrine’s proximity to the Kawasaki Juku, the second of the 53 Stations of the Tōkaidō, turned it into a tourist attraction, and together with the popularity of its annual festival, the Kawasaki Sannō Matsuri held on August 15, the shrine became so prosperous that it was sometimes referred to as the Gion of the East (東の祇園). Along with Shinbutsu bunri it was renamed Kawasaki Ōkami Inage Jinja (川崎大神稲毛神社), it was located in Musashi Province’s Inage-shō. Later in the Meiji Period the current name was adopted,
The current main hall was built in 1963 to replace the one destroyed in the 1945 fire bombing of Tōkyō. That one dated to the mid-Edo Period and its construction was made possible by the generosity of Tanaka Kyūgu (田中丘隅), the owner of an inn catering to daimyō at the Kawasaki Juku. The 1,000+ year-old gingko tree in the grounds was damaged in the fire bombing but has slowly been recovering. In 1986 a ring featuring bronze statues of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac cast by Kawamura Osamu (川村易) was built around it with a small shrine dedicated to the dragon god at its centre.
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