Author: Richard Perkins
Photos/Videos Taken: 2021/04/23
Address: 2-980 Shimmaruko-higashi, Nakahara-ku,
There are Inari shrines all across Japan, with the main shrine being 伏見稲荷大社 (fushimi inari-taisha), located in the Fushimi ward of Kyoto city in Kyoto prefecture. Inari shrines are dedicated to the goddess 稲荷神 (inari-no-kami), which is the goddess of abundant crops (such as rice) and the goddess of agriculture. Seeing as large numbers of Japanese people took part in agricultural activities up until the Edo period (1603-1868), the support for the goddess Inari grew bigger and bigger as time went on. Because of this, there are more Shintō shrines in Japan dedicated to this goddess than there are to any other god or goddess.
One of the many shrines across Japan dedicated to the goddess Inari is 京浜伏見稲荷神社 (keihin fushimi inari jinja). Located in the city of Kawasaki in Kanagawa prefecture, this is a shrine that was built after World War II. The goddess Inari was enshrined here as a way to pray for the reconstruction of the city of Kawasaki after the war.
When visiting an Inari shrine, you’ll be sure to notice statues of foxes (as they’re said to be servants to the goddess Inari). However, at Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine there are more than just a few fox statues. There are 108 fox statues here to be exact. There are said to be more fox statues here than at any other Inari shrine in Japan.
What you’ll also find here that you don’t find too often at other Shintō shrines is a miniature Mt. Fuji. Back in the Edo period, using lava from Mt. Fuji (which was considered to be a sacred mountain) as the base of a Shintō shrine was considered to be good luck. At Keihin Fushimi Inari Shrine lava from Mt. Fuji is used in the base of this miniature Mt. Fuji to bring about good luck to the main shrine.
This is a statue of the first head priest of this shrine Tomizawa Kanjūshi-no-mikoto.