Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Monday, September 5, 2016

Ginnan Hachimangu Shrine in Kakigara-cho

Walking about the area early in the morning I came across this Shinto shrine decorated with lanterns in the front.

Later when I tried to find information about it or even the name there was nothing in English online. I couldn't even find it on Google maps until I took the icon down on the street and pushed him around looking for the place. Yet it does exist with it's gate and fences and markers. I finally found a name but still no information in English.

Businesses and contributors get their names on lanterns. It's the same here. Even though Ginnan Hachimangu Shrine looks forlorn the lanterns show it's not forgotten.

With little to go on, I had to guess about the different parts of the shrine. This worn water basin?

What appears to be a well has a rather new bamboo cover.

When I searched Japanese sites I did find something. The god Hachiman was enshrined here in 1775 or earlier. Also known as Hachiman-shin or Yawata no Kami, he is the god of war and the divine protector of Japan and its people (Hachiman information from Wiki).

The shrine did burn down in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake. I do not know if it survived WWII so if it did then the buildings date from 1923.

Supposedly there was a very large ginkgo tree here once. There are still lovely trees which offer nice shade in the heat. It also lent to the alternative name for this shrine, Ginkgo Hachiman Shrine.

There is a nice chōzubachi with a mitsuba-aoi mon (crest).

This memorial was placed in 1953. This is the only thing I could find with information in English. Rough translation of the kanji from "Sublight Monster" is "Those who died for their country in the Showa era, Memorial Marker". What I found in Japanese is this marker is for those who died in the Japan-China and Pacific War. I have no idea if it gets any attention now.

It is next to what is the most interesting part of this shrine. This little Inari shrine.

The lanterns are relatively new and rather attractive.

Why this Inari shrine interested me is that there are four kitsune (fox) statues instead of the usual two. At least one kitsune in the back has a kit. While the rest of the shrine complex looks a little neglected, this Inari shrine does get attention and worth checking out if you are in the area.

So it turns out that for a small obscure shrine there is a bit more here than one might expect.

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