2-1-29 Kainochohigashi, Sakai-ku, Sakai shi
30 August, 2020
This is the twelfth of my ex post facto shrine reports.
Aguchi Jinja’s legend traces its origin to a request by Empress consort Jingūkōgō (神功皇后) while in the area during her return from the Korean campaign that a shrine honouring Shiotsuchino kami be built. The Engi-Shiki lists 24 shrines in its entry for Ōtori county in Izumi Province, and what is now Aguchi Jinja is one of those. The shrine has long been closely associated with Settsu Province’s Sumiyoshi Jinja (now Sumiyoshi Taisha in Ōsaka’s Sumiyoshi-ku). There is a written record dating from 731 referring to the shrine as Akiguchi -minato-hime Jinja (開口水門姫神社). In 744 under the auspices of the itinerant Buddhist monk, Gyōki, a temple, Mitsujōsan Nenbutsu-ji (密乗山念仏寺), with Yakushi Nyorai as its principal object of worship was built within the shrine grounds. This temple thus became the shrine’s Jingūji (a temple built adjacent to or in the grounds of a shrine), and for this reason the shrine was, and is, popularly known as Ōtera-san (大寺さん). In 1113 two other kami were merged into the shrine, Susano-o of Hara village and Ikukunitama of Kito village, and it was renamed Aguchi-mimura-Daimyōjin (開口三村大明神).
The shrine was given official recognition by the imperial house in 1425 and by the Muromachi Shōgunate in 1427. Both the shrine and the temple were traditionally under the sway of the Tsumura clan, but with Sakai’s development as a commercial
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
From Merged Shrines
Hakuichiryū Jinja 白一龍神社
Sagō Jinja 左合祀社
Ugō Jinja 右合祀社
Sugawara Jinja 菅原神社
Henomatsu Jinja 舳松神社
Shirohige Jinja 白髭神社
Sanbōkō Jinja 三宝荒神社
Toyotake Inari Jinja 豊竹稲荷神社
Annual Festival: Mid September
port the town’s merchants gradually became the real power. In 1535 repairs to the temple became necessary and these were financed by 110 of the town’s wealthiest merchants. Among them were Sen no Rikyū (千利休), usually recognised as preeminent among Japan’s tea ceremony masters, and Takeno Jōō (武野紹鴎), also a master of the tea ceremony. Ten of the 110 merchants were chosen to be members of what was essentially the town’s ruling council. Support of the shrine’s annual festival was one of their key functions. With the coming of the Meiji Restoration and the separation of Shintō and Buddhism the Mitsujōsan Nenbutsu-ji Temple was closed. In 1873 the shrine was given the rank of Rural District Shrine and in 1902 it was upgraded to a Prefectural Shrine. On July 10, 1945 it was basically destroyed in the in 6th US bombing raid on Ōsaka. The main hall was rebuilt in 1961, and a portable shrine belonging to Sumiyoshi Taisha is stored nearby.
(Click on images to expand them)