Chūo Main Line
Nagano-ken, Shiojiri-shi, Sōga 2065
Home page: None
January 14, 2018
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
Tateminakata-no-mikoto (111) 建御名方命
Kotoshiro-nushi-no-mikoto (90) 事代主命
From Merged Shrines
Earliest mention of:
Annual Festival: September 22, 23
Both the main deities of this shrine, Takeminakata and Kotoshiro-nushi are sons of Ōkuni-nushi (80). Under the name Suwa Myōjin (諏訪明神) Takeminakata is the main deity of Suwa Taisha, a role he shares with his wife Yasakatome. (Note that Suwa Taisha is one of Japan's oldest Jinja and some accounts give different deities). He is also the main deity at Ōta Suwa Jinja.
The Kojiki relates that when Ōkuni-nushi finally agreed to cede the land he had created and which was now ruled by his descendants--the Earth Deities (Izumo)--to Amaterasu’s descendants--the Heavenly Deities (Yamato)--it was in the face of strong opposition from Takeminakata. Takemikazuchi-no-o-kami (41) (建御雷之男神) was the messenger sent by Amaterasu to negotiate the cession: Takeminakata challenged him to a trial of strength, presumably believing that if he proved himself the stronger the cession would not go through.
In the event though, he lost ignominiously, and, fearing for his life, fled the scene with Takemikazuchi in hot pursuit. On being overtaken near to what is now Lake Suwa, Takeminakata agreed to consent to the cession to save his life. While this would seem to reflect less than well on him, legends originating in the Suwa area have him lifting a curse which had been imposed on the area and subduing hostile local kami on his way to becoming the area's tutelary deity and the main deity of Suwa Taisha. The Nagano-Jinjacho (Japanese) says that he was also known as Tokō DaiMyōjin (床尾大明神).
In June 1394, Tokō JInja was formally spun off from Suwa Taisha through the kanjō process with Takeminakata enshrined as its main deity, and in November 1458 Kotoshiro-nushi was recognized as a joint main deity of the shrine.
1.6 kms from Seba Station. A distinctive feature of the shrine is the number of Japanese hop hornbeam trees (アサダ) scattered around the grounds. These are relatively rare trees and were designated as natural monuments in 1971.