Thursday, May 16, 2024

Jozan Inari Shrine


Jozan Inari Shrine is tucked away at the northern end of the grounds of Matsue Castle and consequently is missed by most visitors.

It was a favorite spot of Lafcadio Hearn who lived literally a stone's throw away across the moat and visited here often.

Jozan Inari Shrine is the origin of the  Shikinen Shinkosai Festival, one of the top three boat festivals in Japan wherein a procession of brightly decorated boats transport the kami of the shrine 10 kilometers downriver to Adakaya Shrine. The festival only takes place every ten years and the next will be in 2029. Some of the boats are stored at Adakaya Shrine which is worth visiting for the unusual straw "serpents"

The shrine was established in 1638,  a couple of decades after the castle was built when the grandson of Ieyasu, Matsudaira Naomasa, took over the domain.

He had a vision that said Inari would protect not only the castle but also his Edo estate.

Though there are many different Inari's, its primary feature was as a kami of rice, although later it became very much associated with business success. In this case Inari was very much seen in Matsue as a kami to protect the home from fire.

The aroach to the shrine is like many others, and lacks the "tunnel" of red torii seen at many Inari shrines.

However, if you venture behind the main buildings you will find thousands of fox statues....

The previous post was on the Western-style Meiji-era guesthouse in the castle grounds.

1 comment:

  1. I love Inari shrines ! wonderful images, thank you !