Misadventures with Miso

Misadventures with Miso

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Namiyoke Inari Shrine in Tsukiji

 Across from the food hall in Tsukiji is a rather small sized shrine. Namiyoke Inari Jinja. 

 It's the place where the local businesses pray for good fortune, with some of them donating lanterns to light besides the main torii.

Even though it was raining I decided to check it out. While the grounds were not small, it was clear there was a lot here. 

The Haiden where prayers are made to the enshrined kami. Inari Myojin is one that is worshiped here. 

The shrine area goes back to the Manji era (around 1660) when people were trying to reclaim the land here from the bay. While doing that, waves were a problem. So the people floated an image of Inari Myojin on the sea there and from that point on there the land reclamation went well.

The name of the shrine means "protection from the waves".

I could have used a little protection from the falling water. I guess my luck with little rain my two prior March trips finally wore off. 

There are many carved stones and more here. I couldn't begin to say what all they represent. 

I can tell you that the Seven Lucky Gods are also here. 

 I can also tell you that there is a pillar for each animal of the Japanese Zodiac. I believe this one is for sheep. As for the marbles, I do not know. It's some kind of offering.

 There is one for monkey.

Horse along with more carved stones. 

Snake and dragon sit next to each other. 

Rabbit had a newer metal plaque along side. These may be in relation to local trade groups.

Tiger had to put up with a crowd of Inari foxes. That's a really small shrine. 

 Another look at the tiger.

 Bull and rat were towards the back.

 Finally boar, dog and rooster.

There is another remarkable thing about this shrine. 

 Next to those buckets were these giant lion heads. There use to be more but they were destroyed in earthquakes and fires. This is the female lion head and it weighs about 1,500 pounds or .7 metric ton.

This is the male lion head and it weighs 2,200 pounds or one metric ton. Why does that matter? Because every three years one of the lion heads is carried in their Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri parade along with a mikoshi portable shrine. The other two years only the mikoshi is carried. 

So that is a look at the Namiyoke Inari Shrine in Tsukiji. Popular with the businesses there. My next post will be a little smaller, about a place so large it's impossible to ignore it.

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