This is the ninth of the ex post facto shrine reports I compiled while under continuing self-imposed isolation after the Covid-19 State of Emergency in Tōkyō was lifted.
This shrine honours the memory of the 16th emperor, Nintoku (reigned 313-399), who designated the Naniwa area (the current Ōsaka) as the imperial capital and gave it the name Kōzu-gū. One day Nintoku was looking out over the city from his mansion and was struck by the near absence of cooking smoke in the air. Realizing that this was a sign of great poverty among the populace he immediately abolished all taxes, an act which not unsurprisingly won him universal love and respect. About half a millennium later, in 866 to be precise, the 56th emperor, Seiwa (reigned 858-876) was sufficiently
Enshrined Kami: Jinja
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
Emperor Nintoku 仁徳天皇
From Merged Shrines
Himekoso Jinja 比売古曽神社
Takakura Inari 高倉稲荷神社
Yaui Inari Jinja 安井稲荷神社
Tani Massha (Shiragiku Jinja, Shinnen Jinja, Jōkō Jinja)
intrigued by this history that he instigated a search for what were by then the ruins of the old capital.When they were discovered a shrine was built on the site, and this is considered to be the origins of the current Kōzu-gū.
We now jump forward seven centuries to the reign of the 106th emperor, Ōgimachi (正親町天皇, reigned 1577-1586). It was at this time that Hideyoshi was building Ōsaka Castle: the shrine grounds fell within the castle compound and in 1583 its shintai (神体, "Body of the Kami", object of worship housed in a Shinto shrine and believed to contain the spirit of the enshrined deity) was moved to the Himekoso Jinja. This is now the location of Kōzu-gū, and while Himekoso Jinja itself has become subordinate to Kōzu-gū it is still regarded as the “land master kami” (地主神) of the shrine).
In 1872 it was given the status of “Prefectural Shrine” (府社). In 1921 the official Ōsaka City song was composed and in memory of Emperor Nintoku it includes a reference to the ongoing prosperity of the city evidenced by the cooking smoke to be seen everywhere.
In more modern times, the shrine was virtually destroyed in the US air raids of March 1945 and rebuilding was completed in 1961.
The shrine has long been closely associated with the development of rakugo in Ōsaka and many famous performances have been given in its assembly/entertainment hall. The tradition continues to this day, and one of the great modern rakugo performers, Katsura Bunshi V (五代目桂文枝一門), gave his final performance at the shrine in 2015.