Kanda Myojin Shrine

The Kanda Myojin Shrine (or the Kanda Shrine for short) was first built about 1,270 years ago at present Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.  It was moved to its present site near Akihabara and has been rebuilt several times due to fire, earthquake, war and restoration.  The Zuishin Gate was rebuilt in 1995 entirely of hinoki cypress in the Irimoya styles.

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The complex has been designated a National Cultural Property.  The buildings are constructed in the Gongen style of reinforced concrete painted with vermillion lacquer.  The Myojin Kaikan (the shrine hall) is used for various types of gatherings, including wedding receptions for couple who have been married in the shrine.  The Ho-ou-den is a multifunctional hall where talismans can be obtained and worshippers can rest their feet or wait for friends.

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Within the shrine precincts are many sculptures including dieties, such as Daikoku-sama (the largest stone scuplture of this diety of fortune in Japan) and Ebisu-sama coming ashore amid waves.

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The Kanda Matsuri is one of the three most famous festivals in Japan and is held in Kanda Myojin Shrine around May every other year.  Early in the year, the annual Daikoku Matsuri is celebrated over the three days leading up to Coming of Age Day, where a person disguised as the deity of fortune shakes a lucky mallet over visitors’ heads.  All these pictures were taken during the Daikoku Matsuri held on January 11, 2009.

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Finally, this picture courtesy of Yahoo! show businessmen praying at Kanda Myojin, known as the shrine of commerce and industry, during a purification ceremony of the first business day of New Year.  Amid the current global economic crisis, we can certainly use all the help we can get!

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10 thoughts on “Kanda Myojin Shrine

  1. Yes, Japanese festivals are great (we just went to another one this weekend, took some pictures, will need to blog about it). Also, it is a good way to visit temples and shrines, although usually with a lot of people.

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