Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kanda Myojin Shrine in Chiyoda (Akihabara) Tokyo

Kanda Front Gate  Flickr / heiwa4126
I've summarized this information from Wikipedia.  The shrine is on a small hill and was originally established in 730 AD (dating back almost 1300 years), but the current structure was rebuilt several times due to fire and earthquakes.  Kanda Shrine was an important shrine to both the warrior class and citizens of Japan, especially during the Edo period, when shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu paid his respects at Kanda Shrine.

Kanda Shrine and Grounds (shops are in building on the left)  Flickr / heiwa4126

Three major kami enshrined are Daikokuten, Ebisu, and Taira no Masakado. As Daikokuten and Ebisu both belong to the Seven Gods of Fortune, Kanda Shrine is a popular place for businessmen and entrepreneurs to pray for wealth and prosperity. Taira no Masakado however, was a samurai who rebelled against the Heian government, and was later elevated to the status of kami out of reverence. It is also said that shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu felt uncomfortable to have his castle built close to such a powerful spirit, and so decided to move Kanda Shrine to its modern location.
Matsuri  Flickr / By d'n'c

Kanda festival (Kanda matsuri) is one of the three major Shinto festivals in Tokyo, started in 1600 by Tokugawa Ieyasu to celebrate his decisive victory at the battle of Sekigahara. The festival is held on the Saturday and Sunday closest to May 15, but since it alternates with the Sannō Matsuri, it is only held on odd numbered years.

Most interestingly, this worship at this shrine now covers information technology (fitting considering the proximity to Electric Town Akiba).  You can buy charms here to protect your IT systems and data.  You had better still back up, but having some extra luck can't hurt.  The House icon near the left side of the map below shows where the shrine is.

View Akihabara Highlights Map / Akihabara Guide in a larger map

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