Long ago the City of Matsumoto was known as the castle town of Fukashi. Much of this old castle town stretched northwest and south from the moats and walls of the castle. Near the southern end of town stood Fukashi Jinja. Established in 1339 by the region’s first ruler, this shrine still stands proud today, and is an integral part of your tour of the history of Matsumoto.
The 1333 Seige of Kamakura saw Emperor Go-Daigo wrest control of Japan from the shoguns of the Minamoto clan. To show his gratitude, Sadamune Ogasawara, local warlord and first ruler of Shinano, built Miyamura Daimyojin and enshrined the Shinto deity of war Takeminakatatomi-no-mikoto. In time, Miyamura Daimyojin would be renamed Fukashi Shrine.
Though located in downtown Matsumoto, Fukashi Jinja maintains a spacious, serene atmosphere. Straight ahead as you enter the grounds is the Kagura-den, the hall where the sacred traditional Kagura dance as well as other ritual performances are held. Behind this is the Hai-den, the prayer hall where the more solemn rites of Shinto are carried out. To the sides you’ll find a number of secondary shrines dedicated to various deities of, among other things, prosperity, purity, and sake brewing.
The Heart of the Shrine
One interesting aspect of Fukashi Shrine is the two-chambered Hon-den. The chamber on the right enshrines Takeminekatatomi-no-mikoto, deity of wind, water and agriculture as well as warfare. On the left is enshrined Tenjin, the deity of scholarship to whom many students in Japan pray to for success on their school exams. Learn more about the Tenjin Festival.
See For Yourself
Fukashi Shrine is rich with significance and history, and makes a great addition to your Matsumoto itinerary. Give us a call if you’d like us to give you a detailed tour. Better yet, combine a complimentary visit to Fukashi Shrine with our tour of nearby Miso Factory, and treat yourself to a long, relaxing trip through the original shrine of Matsumoto’s old castle town.
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