Description

On its English language home page, Tōkyō Daijingū refers to itself as one of the five major shrines in Tōkyō, along with Meiji-Jingū, Yasukuni-Jinja, Hie-Jinja, and Ohkunitama-Jinja. Unlike the Ten Tōkyō Shrines this group of five shrines seems self-designated with no official imprimatur.

As jinja go, Tōkyō Daijingū is relatively new, having been founded as recently as April 17, 1880, very much at the fiat of the then government. This was just 13 years into the Meiji Restoration and one of the government's major policies was saisei-icchi (usually translated as union of church and state, in the case of Japan unity of temple/shrine and state may be more appropriate). To this end, it was deemed desirable to set up an institution in Tōkyō which would allow its residents to worship the ancestral gods of the Imperial family enshrined at the Ise jingū. Accordingly the predecessor of  Tōkyō Daijingū, Kōtai Jingū Yōhai-dono (Kōtai Jingū is the inner shrine of the Ise Jingū and Yōhai-dono is literally "worship from afar hall"), was erected on the site of what had been the Ōkuma Shigenobu family residence in Yūrakuchō. (Ōkuma was the 5th and 17th Prime Minister of Japan).

Enshrined Deities:  

Main

天照皇大神           Amaterasu Ōkami 
豊受大神              Toyōuke-Ōkami

From Merged Shrines

天之御中主神         Ame-no-Minaka-nushi 

高御産巣日神         Takami-Musubi-kami

神産巣日神            Kamu-Musubi-kami

倭比売命                   Yamatohime-no-mikoto

In-ground Shrines: 

          

飯富稲荷神社            Obu-Inari Jinja    

Earliest mention of:   1880   

Annual Festival:    ??

Less than two years later, however, the government reversed policy and embarked on a separation of temple/shrine and state (seikyō bunri). For Kōtai Jingū Yōhai-dono this resulted in a change of name to Daijingū-hokora. Three more name changes were still to come: the second of these was in 1928 when the shrine was rebuilt in its present location following extensive damage caused by the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake. Reflecting the new location the name became Idabashi Daijingū: adoption of the current name took place in April 1946.

Lacking in historical romance Tōkyō Daijingū may be, but it is awash in boy-girl romance. Do an English language web search for the shrine's name and you will find phrases like Love for Sale, Looking for Love, a west side Love story, Tokyo's Love Shrines.  As its home page makes clear this shrine is in the wedding business:- "Tokyo Daijingū is also known for being the first one to have established the Shinto wedding ceremony in Japan." Again, this was by government fiat.

On May 10, 1900 the Meiji Emperor's third son, the only one of five sons who survived to maturity and in due course became the Taisho Emperor, the 125th of the line, Crown Prince Yoshihito, was married to Princess Kujō Sadako in the Imperial Palace.  At the time the government was keen to spread the concept of weddings as a kind of state ceremony in shrines and to this end re-enacted the Crown Prince's wedding in what is now the Tokyo Daijingū on March 3, 1901. To this day Shintō wedding ceremonies are based on the protocols used at this re-enactment. On a more prosaic note, wedding ceremonies held at the Tokyo Daijingū are conducted by a company affiliated to Matsuya Department Store, "a table matsuya holdings."

And last, but very much not least, the Wedding of Crown Prince Yoshihito and Princess Kujō Sadako (photo from the Library of Congress)

Nearest station

IIdabashi:

Chūō, Nanboku, Ōedo Lines

Tōkyō-to, Chiyoda-ku, Fujimi 2-4-1  

東京都千代田区富士見 2-4-1

  東京大神宮

Tōkyō Daijingū

November 26, 2016

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© Rod Lucas 2016-2019

All text and photos by Lucas unless otherwise stated