Fushimi Inari-taisha

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Fushimi Inari-taisha
伏見稲荷大社
KyotoFushimiInariLarge.jpg
Torii leading to the outer shrine
Religion
AffiliationShinto
DeityUka-no-Mitama-no-Ōkami, et al. as Inari Ōkami
TypeInari Shrine
Location
LocationFushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Fushimi Inari-taisha is located in Kyoto city
Fushimi Inari-taisha
Shown within Kyoto city
Fushimi Inari-taisha is located in Japan
Fushimi Inari-taisha
Fushimi Inari-taisha (Japan)
Geographic coordinates34°58′2″N 135°46′22″E / 34.96722°N 135.77278°E / 34.96722; 135.77278
Architecture
Date established711
Website
inari.jp/en/
Shinto torii icon vermillion.svg Glossary of Shinto

Fushimi Inari-taisha (伏見稲荷大社) is the head shrine of the kami Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The shrine sits at the base of a mountain also named Inari which is 233 metres (764 ft) above sea level, and includes trails up the mountain to many smaller shrines which span 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) and take approximately 2 hours to walk up.[1]

First and foremost, Inari is the kami of rice, but merchants and manufacturers have traditionally worshiped Inari as the patron of business; each of the torii at Fushimi Inari-taisha has been donated by a Japanese business.

This popular shrine is said to have as many as 32,000 sub-shrines (bunsha (分社)) throughout Japan.[2]

History[edit]

A torii path across the mountain
(video) A walking up one section of the torii path.
Front view of the haiden
A torii path across the mountain from the side
honden
The main gate
Fushimi-Inari-taisha 4.jpg
20100714 Kyoto Fushimi Inari 1655.jpg
Kyoto Schrein Fushimi-Inari-taisha 10.jpg
Fukakusa Kaidoguchicho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 612-0805, Japan - panoramio (1).jpg

The shrine became the object of imperial patronage during the early Heian period.[3] In 965, Emperor Murakami decreed that messengers carry written accounts of important events to the guardian kami of Japan; these heihaku were initially presented to 16 shrines, including the Inari Shrine.[4]

From 1871 through 1946, Fushimi Inari-taisha was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines.[5]

Structures[edit]

The earliest structures were built in 711 on the Inariyama hill in southwestern Kyoto, but the shrine was re-located in 816 on the request of the monk Kūkai; the main shrine structure was built in 1499.[6] At the bottom of the hill are the main gate (楼門, rōmon, "tower gate") and the main shrine (御本殿, go-honden). Behind them, in the middle of the mountain, the inner shrine (奥宮, okumiya) is reachable by a path lined with thousands of torii. To the top of the mountain are tens of thousands of mounds (, tsuka) for private worship.

Senbon torii[edit]

The highlight of the shrine is the rows of torii gates, known as Senbon torii; the custom to donate a torii started to spread since the Edo period (1603 – 1868) to get a wish to become true or to thank for a wish that became true. Along the main path there are around 1,000 torii gates.

Fox[edit]

Foxes (kitsune), regarded as the messengers, are often found in Inari shrines. One attribute is a key (for the rice granary) in their mouths.

Unlike most Shinto shrines, Fushimi Inari-taisha, in keeping with typical Inari shrines, has an open view of the main object of worship (a mirror).

A drawing in Kiyoshi Nozaki's Kitsune: Japan's Fox of Mystery, Romance and Humor in 1786 depicting the shrine says that its two-story entry gate was built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

The shrine draws several million worshipers over the Japanese New Year, 2.69 million for 3 days in 2006 reported by the police, the most in western Japan.

Access[edit]

The shrine is just outside the Inari Station on the Nara Line of the West Japan Railway Company (JR), a five-minute ride from Kyoto Station, it is a short walk from Fushimi-Inari Station on the Main Line of the Keihan Electric Railway.[7]

The shrine is open 24 hours with both the approach to the shrine and the Honden (本殿, main hall) itself illuminated all night. There is no entrance fee.

Environs[edit]

In the approach to the shrine are a number of sweet shops selling tsujiura senbei (辻占煎餅), a form of fortune cookie dating at least to the 19th century, and which are believed by some to be the origin of the Chinese-American fortune cookie.[8][9]

In popular culture[edit]

A part of the Noh play Kokaji takes place in Fushimi Inari-taisha.[10]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 全国のお稲荷さんの総本宮、伏見稲荷大社を参拝しました。 [Nationwide Inari Shrines, I visited the Fushimi Inari-taisha.] (in Japanese). Retrieved 28 March 2014.
  2. ^ Motegi, Sadazumi. "Shamei Bunpu (Shrine Names and Distributions)". Encyclopedia of Shinto. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
  3. ^ Breen, John et al. (2000). Shinto in History: Ways of the Kami, pp. 74-75.
  4. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1962). Studies in Shinto and Shrines, pp. 116-117.
  5. ^ Ponsonby-Fane, Richard. (1959). The Imperial House of Japan, pp. 124.
  6. ^ Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric et al. (1998). Japan encyclopedia, p. 224.
  7. ^ Fushimi Inari Shrine, How to get there
  8. ^ Lee, Jennifer 8. (January 16, 2008). "Solving a Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery Inside a Cookie" The New York Times. Retrieved on January 16, 2008.
  9. ^ 8. Lee, Jennifer (January 16, 2008). "Fortune Cookies are really from Japan". The Fortune Cookie Chronicles. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25.
  10. ^ "Kokaji (pamphlet)" (PDF). noh-kyogen.com. Retrieved 2018-01-09.

References[edit]


Coordinates: 34°58′02″N 135°46′22″E / 34.96722°N 135.77278°E / 34.96722; 135.77278

External links[edit]