Since the Covid-19 State of Emergency covering Tōkyō was declared on April 7 I have been self isolating and therefore not visiting shrines. I have, however, been visiting shrines around Japan for a long time now and have over 20,000 photos from shrines around the country. I have decided for the time being to write up some of these shrines, even though I obviously cannot claim to have clear memories of all of them and the photos may not be all I might wish them to be. There may be seasonal differences between the photos and the dates of the write-ups, and the shrine buildings may have changed.
Ikuta Jinja, which I visited in July 2012, is the first of these write-ups. One of the six shrines listed in the Settsu Province/Yatabe (摂津国/八部郡) section of the Engi Shiki, it is, along with Nagata and Minatogawa Shrines, one of what are probably Kobe’s three most well-known shrines . In 201 when Empress Jingū was returning from the Three Han (三韓, Korea) campaign on her way to Naniwa (Ōsaka) her ship became becalmed in the sea and she went to what is now the Port of Kobe to conduct a divination ceremony with the Kami ( 神占, shinsen). Wakahirume no Mikoto appeared to her and
(Note: numbers in parentheses after kami names
refer to position in How Many Kami table)
From Merged Shrines
Sumiyoshi Jinja 住吉神社
Hachiman Jinja 八幡神社
Suwa Jinja 諏訪神社
Hiyoshi Jinja 日吉神社
Ichkishima Jinja 市杵島神社
Inari Jinja 稲荷神社
Sai Jinja 塞神社
Raidaijin Jinja 雷大臣神社
Ōmaru Jinja 人丸神社
Hiroko Jinja 蛭子神社
Daikai Jinja 大海神社
Matsuo Jinja 松尾神社
Togakushi Jinja 戸隠神社
Annual Festival: April 15
said that she wanted to dwell in the country of Nagao, in Ikuta. Jingū thereupon ordered that a shrine to worship her be set up in a place called Isago- (Mt. Isago) in Ikuta.
Note that Wakahirume no Mikoto is commonly thought to be the younger sister of Amaterasu or that her name was Amaterasu's childhood name. We first come across her in one of the alternative readings in the Nihongi describing why Amaterasu entered the Divine Rock Cave. After the August Oath, Susano-o bored a hole through the roof of the divine weaving hall where Amaterasu and other female kami were weaving divine garments and "through it let fall a heavenly piebald horse which he had flayed with a backward flaying.” This so frightened Wakahirume that she fell from the loom where she was working and so badly injured herself that she died. On seeing this Amaterasu entered the Rock Cave of Heaven and plunged all under Heaven into continuous darkness.
Jumping forward almost six centuries, the foothills of Mt. Isago were damaged by a strong flood on April 9, 799, and it is said that out of concern that the whole mountain, and hence the shrine, would crumble away the shintai was moved to the shrine’s current location in Ikuta Mori just eight days later.
There is a reference in a document dating to 806 to the 44 jinpu (神封) households of Ikuta (生田の神封四十四戸) and this area is essentially the modern Kōbe’s Chūō-ku. The name Kōbe, 神戸, was created by taking the 4th and 9th characters from the phrase. At the time it was pronounced Kanbe: in medieval times it became Konbe and in modern times Kōbe.
In 1871 it was given the ranking of village shrine, and in 1885, when Emperor Meiji was on the sixth the sixth of his Six Imperial Tours, the one to Shikoku, it was raised to a Kanpeisha.