Author: Richard Perkins
Photos/Videos Taken: 2021/06/22
Address: 7-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku,
In the Chuō ward of Tokyo, in just another ordinary back alley of an area known as Ginza, is 豊岩稲荷神社 (toyoiwa inari jinja), or Toyoiwa Inari shrine. As this shrine’s name indicates, this is an Inari shrine. Inari shrines are dedicated to the goddess 稲荷 (inari), which is the goddess of abundant crops (such as rice) and the goddess of agriculture. There are Inari shrines all across Japan, with the main shrine being Fushimi Inari-Taisha, located in the Fushimi ward of Kyoto city in Kyoto prefecture. Toyoiwa Inari shrine is too dedicated to the goddess Inari, but the main god of this shrine is 倉稲魂命 (uka-no-mitama-no-mikoto), the god of grains.
It’s said that the retainer of Akechi Mitsuhide, a military commander and feudal lord from the Sengoku period (1467-1615) to the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568-1600), Yasuda Sakubei, was said to have built this shrine.
The Goddess Inari is known for helping bring about a bountiful harvest but is also considered a god of commerce and trade. Because of this, the divine favor of abundant crops which the goddess Inari brings about is also considered to bring about good business. Many of the people that visit Toyoiwa Inari Shrine are said to be those who own a business in Ginza and come to pray that the business will do well.