日本5大稲荷のひとつ 太鼓谷稲成神社

太皷谷稲成神社

Taikodani Inarijinja

TAIKODANI INARI SHRINE

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TAIKODANI INARI SHRINE

Taikodani Inari Shrine -
one of Japan’s five grand Inari shrines

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Understanding why the lord changed the meaning of “Inari” from “carry” to “achieve”

Taikodani Inari Shrine is a landmark in Tsuwano, an elegant town which is called the Little Kyoto of San’in. It is one of Japan’s five grand Inari shrines.

It is said to have been founded in 1773 by the 7th lord of the Tsuwano domain, Lord Norisada Kamei, for the purpose of bringing peace and protection to the domain and its people. The deity of Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto was brought to the peak of Taikodani, which is in the kimon (unlucky direction) of Tsuwano Castle. It was worshiped by the successive lords, and until the Meiji period, ordinary citizens were not allowed to pray there.

The second character in the word “Inari” of Taikodani Inari Shrine differs from the usual meaning of “carry”. It means “achieve”.
The following tale passed down through the ages reveals the reason for this change.

It happened just after the deity was brought from Fushimi. There was a warehouse attendant in the castle. One day, he lost the warehouse key. No matter where he looked, he could not find it. With resignation, he told the lord the truth. The lord was furious, and said he would wait seven days for the man to find it. The man searched desperately, but to no avail. At long last, the warehouse man prayed to the Inari deity, a forbidden act, as ordinary people were prohibited from worshiping there. Then, he found the key in a place he had searched many times over. The warehouse man rushed straight to the castle, prepared for a severe punishment, and told the lord that he had prayed to the Inari deity. The lord forgave the honest man, and said that the Inari deity must have great power to fulfill wishes. And so it came to be the only Inari shrine in the country which uses the character for “achieve” instead of “carry”.

213.6 m above sea level, the shrine approach has 263 stone steps and 1,000 torii gates

Taikodani Inari Shrine stands on a peak 213.6 meters above sea level. The approach has 263 stone steps. It is a beautiful shrine, with 1,000 vibrant vermillion torii gates standing out against the mountain greenery.

“Why did the lord of Tsuwano build a shrine in such a steep place?” asks Captain Uchiyama.

“I think he built it for the development of Tsuwano, and so that its inhabitants could live in happiness,” says the chief priest of the shrine.

With the happiness of the domain residents in mind, Lord Norisada Kamei changed the characters for Inari, so the word included the nuance of wish and prayer fulfillment. The grand annual autumn festival is held on November 15th. The 1,000 vermillion torii gates look even more stunning against the colorful autumn leaves in this beautiful season.

{ Access }

  • ●Access to Taikodani Inari Shrine: Approximately 11 minutes by car from Tsuwano Station, JR Yamaguchi Line

  • ●409 Ushiroda, Tsuwano-cho, Kanoashi-gun, Shimane Prefecture

  • [ more information ] SHIMANE | Explore Unfamiliar Japan <<View the site>>

San’in Good Thing Diary

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TAIKODANI INARI SHRINE