Highlight: The Matchmaking God at Sensoji Temple

Kume-no-Heinai-do at Sensoji Temple (Taito, Tokyo) Highlights
Kume-no-Heinai-do at Sensoji Temple (Taito, Tokyo)

The highlights category of our blog will cover must-visit spots in the Shitamachi area of Tokyo. This blog post will feature Kume-no-Heinai-Do Hall at Sensoji Temple in Taito Ward of Tokyo.

Speaking of the matchmaking god in the Asakusa area, most people think of Imado Shrine. The reason for it is that this Shinto shrine enshrines Izanagi and Izanami, the first married gods in Japanese mythology.

Izanagi and Izanami were a harmonious couple in the beginning, giving birth to many gods and Japanese islands. As a result, people in the old days worshipped Izanagi and Izanami as the gods of marital harmony and matchmaking.

In the Asakusa area, some places enshrine matchmaking gods other than Izanagi and Izanami. Kume-no-Heinai-Do at Sensoji Temple is one of them. This small shrine enshrines Heinai Kume, who existed in the early Edo period (the 17th century).

This blog post will share information about Heinai Kume and Kume-no-Heinai-Do Hall at Sensoji Temple. Please use it as a reference when you come to Tokyo.

We hope this blog post will help you somewhat when you visit Tokyo for sightseeing. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us through the contact form.

This blog post is also available in Japanese. You can refer to it at the following link:

Heinai Kume, Who Is It?

Reference: The National Diet Library – Koema Zushu

According to Sensoji Temple, Heinai Kume was an actual samurai and swordsman who lived in the early Edo period (1616–1683).

Heinai Kume was a master of swordsmanship and taught it in Edo (present-day Tokyo). As he wanted to prove his skills, he performed Sennin-Giri, an attempt to slash 1,000 people. For this reason, he sacrificed many people.

In his later years, Heina Kume deeply regretted what he had done. He devoted himself to Zen training at Kongoin in Sensoji Temple to hold memorial services for his victims. Kongoin is a lodging facility for Buddhist monks in the northeastern part of the precincts of the temple.

On his deathbed, Heinai Kume asked for his image to be carved in stone. He also asked to bury the stone statue near Hozomon Gate of Sensoji Temple. By having many people trample his statue, he tried to atone for his sins even after his death.

Heinai Kume, Why Is He a Matchmaking God?

It was in the middle of the Edo period (the 18th century) when Heinai Kume became a matchmaking god.

As mentioned above, he wanted many people to trample his stone statue. “To trample” is “fumi tsukeru (踏みつける)” in Japanese. And “to send a love letter” is also “fumi tsukeru (文つける)” in old Japanese.

For this reason, people in the Edo era played on words linking “to trample” and “to send a love letter.” Then people gradually started believing Kume Heinai as a matchmaking god.

Heinai Kume, Where Is He Now?

Heinai Kume’s stone statue is not buried near Honzomon Gate anymore. Sensoji Temple moved it to Kume-no-Heinai-Do Hall some time ago.

Kume-no-Heinai-Do Hall is on the right side, in front of Hozomon Gate. After passing Kaminarimon Gate, you will arrive at Nakamise-Dori Shopping Street. You will find Kume-no-Heinai-Do Hall on your right after going through the shopping street.


Sensoji Temple enshrines another matchmaking god other than Heinai Kume. That is Awashima Myojin at Awashima-Do Hall. This god is well known as the salvation god for women.

For more information about Awashima-Do Hall at Sensoji Temple, please refer to the following blog post:

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