Saitama-ken, Shiki-shi, Hon-chō 2-9-40

埼玉県志木市本町2-9-40          

敷島神社

Shikishima Jinja

Home page: none

April 23, 2017

Nearest station

Shiki

 Tōbu Tōjō Line

Description
The origins of what is now Shikishima Jinja date back to at least 1340. At that time there was a Sengen Jinja at the site and in its grounds was a small mound, the Tagoyama-tsuka, which is thought to have been a circular burial mound dating from the late 7th century.

In 1908, following the enactment of the Shrine Merger Order, three local shrines, Murayama Inari Jinja, Hoshino Inari Jinja, and Sui Jinja were merged into the existing Sengen Jinja: there was some discussion of how the new entity should be named—followers of the three shines being merged arguing for their own shrine’s name to be used—and the name finally chosen was Shikishima Jinja. This was the result of a perceived similarity between the makura kotoba (literally "pillow word", figures of speech used in Japanese waka poetry, where epithets are used in association with certain words) of a waka by Norinaga Motoori and the name of the Sengen Jinja kami, Konohana-sakuya-bime-Ōkami. The pillow word of the waka is Shikishima and other words used include Japan (Yamato), rising sun (Asahi), and cherry blossoms (sakura-no-hana): these are all redolent of the kami’s name, hence its adoption for the shrine.

Enshrined Deities:  

Main

Konohanasakuyabime-Ōkami  木花開耶姫大神    

From Merged Shrines

Uka-no-mitama-Ōkami                倉稲魂大神                    

Mizuha-no-me-Ōkami                  罔象女大神                             

In-ground Shrines: 

Kotohira Jinja    琴比羅神社               

Sengen Jinja    浅間神社                     

Washimiya Jinja      鷲宮神社                    

Inari Jinja                  稲荷神社

Matsuo Jinja            松尾神社

Suijin Gū               水神宮

Shimo-Sengen Sha 下浅間社

Earliest mention of:  1340

Annual Festival:         3rd Saturday & Sunday of July       

The Tagoyama-tsuka of the original site is now a Fujizuka, largely because of a dream vouchsafed to a local soy sauce brewer, a certain Takasu Shōkichi, just as the Edo Period was giving way to the Meiji Restoration. Takasu was an ardent believer in the Mt. Fuji sect and in his dream was told that he should visit the Tagoyama-tsuka. This he did, and on the mound he found a small Buddhist memorial tower dated 1340 erected by a passing monk prior to his own passing away.  This made such a powerful impression on Takatsu that he there and then vowed to build a Fujizuka over the Tagoyama-tsuka. He won the support of many local people and construction work on what became a 9m high mound started in October 1869 and was completed in June 1872.

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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated