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Nagano-ken, Ueda-shi, Shimanogō, Nakaike-Nishi 701

長野県上田市下之郷中池西701               Google Map

homepage    (Japanese)

11 April, 2021

Nearest station:  Shimonogō (BE09)    Ueda Electric Line 

​生島足島神社  ​Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja

Enshrined Kami:  


Ikushima Ōkami     生島大神

Tarushima Ōkami   足島大神


From Merged Shrines


In-ground Shrines:

Akiba-sha             秋葉社

Jūsan-sha             十三社

Koyasu-sha          子安社

Hachiman-sha     八幡社

Aramitama-sha   荒魂社


​Annual Festival:   Sept. 19 

This is the twentieth of my ex post facto shrine reports. This is another shrine I visited with my late wife Mitsuko;  we visited it because her maiden name is Ikushima, written with the same kanji, 生島, as the shrine name. One of the two kami enshrined at the jinja is Ikushima Okami, the other is Tarushima Okami. The shrine’s home page describes Ikushima Okami as the kami creating and nourishing all things, while Tarushima  Okami empowers all beings to achieve their potential. These are quite rare kami; to the best of my knowledge the only other jinja where they are enshrined is Ikutama Jinja in Osaka’s Tennoji-ku.

The shrine’s  origin is unclear:  legend tells us that while Take-minakata-tomi-mikoto  (建御名方富命), the main kami of Suwa Jinja, was on his way to Suwa he stopped here and prepared a rice gruel, which he then offered to both  Ikushima Okami and Tarushima Okami, the dual kami of the shrine.

In 806 the shrine was allocated at least one household which had to support it by giving it half of its assessed taxes  for the year. The Engi-shiki, dating to 927, lists the shrine as the major one for Shinano Province’s Chiisagata district and also lists the dual kami among the 23 worshipped in the Jingi-kan in the  Imperial Palace.

Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社

Between 1275 and 1278 the shrine buildings were repaired by a local branch of the Hojo clan and other local dignitaries donated rice paddies to the shrine. Jumping forward to the late-16th early-17th century the shrine was receiving support from Sanada Masayuki (真田昌幸) and succeeding lords of Ueda Castle.

The shrine continued to receive imperial support. Whenever a new municipality was formally established a ceremony invoking Ikushima Okami and Tarushima Okami would often be held. In 1869 rites were held for the two kami in the Imperial Palace, and in 1890 an imperial envoy bestowed  “official government shrine” ranking. Construction of the current main hall was completed in 1940 with government funding, and in September 1998 the inner shrine was designated a “Prefectural Treasure.”

(Click on images to expand them)

Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
Ikushima-Tarushima Jinja  ​生島足島神社
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