This article is also available in Japanese (日本語). You can refer to it from here.
We will introduce Imado Shrine in Imado of Tokyo. This Shinto shrine is famous for its benefits: matchmaking and economic fortune. Moreover, young women love this shrine as this is a well-known cat shrine.
This article contains helpful information for you to visit Imado Shrine. All the data is worth knowing, including its history, highlights, enshrined Shinto gods, benefits to worship, and access methods. Just reading this article will make this shrine more interesting to you.
- Enshrined Gods and Their Blessings
- Other Useful Information
According to the shrine, the history of Imado Shrine dates back to the Heian period. And it is a series of disasters and reconstructions.
Hachimangu shrines enshrine Emperor Ojin, the 15th emperor of Japan, as a god. We believe that this is the god of war and good luck. For that reason, many Samurai people, including the Minamoto clan and the Taira clan, worshiped it.
During the Former Nine Years’ War of the Heian period, Minamoto no Yoriyoshi prayed for his victory at Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine in Kyoto. In the 6th year of Kohei (1063 AD), Yoriyoshi propagated Iwashimizu Hachimangu Shrine to Imanozu (currently called Imado) of Asakusa. The name of the shrine at that time was Imado Hachimangu Shrine.
In the first year of Eiho (1081 AD), the Later Three-Year War began. Minamoto no Yoshiie, who headed to the Tohoku region to subdue the Kiyohara clan, prayed for his victory at Imado Hachimangu Shrine when passing through this area. As Yoshiie won the war, he restored the shrine building of Imado Hachimangu Shrine with gratitude.
Since then, Imado Hachimangu Shrine has been repeatedly damaged and reconstructed. In the 13th year of Kanei (1636) of the Edo period, Tokugawa Iemitsu, the 3rd shogun, ordered Funakoshi Nagakage and Yagi Munenao to rebuilt Imado Hachimangu Shrine. However, Imado Hachimangu Shrine was destroyed by the Great Kanto Earthquake in the 12th year of Taisho (1923 AD) and the Bombing of Tokyo in the 20th year of Showa (1945 AD).
In the 12th of Showa (1937 AD), Hakusan Shrine was moved to the precincts of Imado Hachimangu Shrine to be enshrined together. At that time, Imado Hachimangu Shrine changed its name to Imado Shrine. Then in the 46th of Showa (1971 AD), the current shrine building was completed.
Enshrined Gods and Their Blessings
Emperor Ojin (應神天皇)
- Other names: Emperor Ojin (応神天皇), Yahata no kami (八幡神), Homuta no sumera mikoto (譽田天皇), Hontawake no mikoto (誉田別命), etc.
- Divinity: A Shinto god of victory, war, etc.
- Blessings: Long-lasting fortunes of war, success of competition, successful career, good fortune, etc.
Izanagi no Mikoto (伊弉諾尊)
- Other names: Izanagi no mikoto (伊邪那岐命), Izanagi no mikoto (伊邪奈岐命), etc.
- Divinity: A Shinto god of Kuni-umi (the creation of Japan), Kami-umi (the creation of gods), etc.
- Blessings: Marital harmony, descendants prosperity, longevity and prosperity, matchmaking, calamity prevention, etc.
Izanami no Mikoto (伊弉冉尊)
- Other names: Izanami no mikoto (伊弉冉命), Izanami no mikoto (伊邪那美命), Izanami no mikoto (伊邪奈美命), etc.
- Divinity: A Shinto goddess of Kuni-umi (the creation of Japan), Kami-umi (the creation of gods), etc.
- Blessings: Fulfillment in love, marital harmony, safe delivery, prosperous business, etc.
- Other names: Fukurokujin (福禄人)
- Divinity: A god of happiness, ecomomic fortune, and longevity
- Blessings: descendants prosperity, economic fortune, good health, longevity, popularity, matchmaking, etc
Gigantic Maneki-Neko Dolls
Imado Shrine is also called a cat shrine, and you can notice Maneki-Neko dolls (beckoning cats) everywhere in its precincts. Some people say that Maneki-Neko dolls are initially from the Imado area. So the Imado Shrine also features Maneki-Neko dolls here and there in its precincts.
One of the must-sees is the giant Maneki-Neko doll of about 2m enshrined in the shrine’s main hall. Its shape is similar to a Maneki-Neko doll of Tokoname ware, not a Maneki-Neko doll of the traditional Imado ware. In addition to its vast size, it holds its left hand relatively high. So it seems that the cat will attract good ties even from a considerable distance.
In front of the main hall, a pair of Maneki-Neko statues made of stone, called the Nade-Neko, is enshrined. People believe that if you take a picture of the cats after stroking them and use it as a standby screen for your smartphones, your wishes, such as good fortune, will come true. Since many TV programs featured this story, there may be a waiting line of young women in front of the cats.
The Seven Lucky Gods of Asakusa (Fukurokuju)
Imado Shrine enshrines Fukurokuju of the seven lucky gods, a Shinto god of happiness, property, and longevity. Therefore, you can expect economic fortune, good health, longevity, and other benefits by worshipping him.
Fukurokuju at Imado Shrine is one of the Seven Lucky Gods of Asakusa. The Seven Lucky Gods of Asakusa refer to the seven lucky gods enshrined at nine Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Taito Ward and Arakawa Ward of Tokyo. Therefore, making a pilgrimage to these nine sites is one good example of enjoying the Asakusa area.
For more information about the Seven Lucky Gods of Asakusa, please refer to the following article:
The Eight Lucky Gods of Tokyo Shitamachi (Matchmaking)
Imado Shrine is one of the Eight Lucky Gods of Tokyo Shitamachi. The Eight Lucky Gods of Tokyo Shitamachi refers to eight Shinto shrines in Chuo Ward and Taito Ward of Tokyo. Each shrine brings you a different benefit when you warship them. You can expect Matchmaking from Imado Shrine.
The concept of the Eight Lucky Gods of Tokyo Shitamachi was introduced in 1981 as a part of the regional revitalization projects of Tokyo. You can enjoy historic sites and feel the atmosphere of the Shitamachi area of Tokyo while you are making your pilgrimage.
For more information about the Eight Lucky Gods of Tokyo Shitamachi, please refer to the following article:
Other Useful Information
- From 09:00 to 15:00
- Imado 1-5-22, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111-0024
Public Transport (Train)
- 15 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
- 15 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Toei Subway Asakusa Line
- 15 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station on the Tobu Isesaki Line
Public Transport (Bus)
- 1 minutes on foot from Riverside Sports Center-mae Stop on Gururi-Megurin or Kita-Megurin Asakusa route of Taito City Circular Route Bus
- 1 minutes on foot from Riverside Sports Center-mae Stop on the Toei Bus Route Higashi 42-3 (東 42-3)
- 5 minutes on foot from Asakusa 7-Chome Stop on the Toei Bus Route Higashi 42-1 (東 42-1)
Public Restroom Availability