Katō Shrine

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Katō Shrine
Kato-jinjya Shrine (Kumamoto) 1.jpg
A torii at Katō Shrine
Type Prefectural Shrine
Dedicated to Katō Kiyomasa
Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin Kan
Founded 1871, as Nishikiyama Shrine
Address 2-1, Honmaru, Chūō-ku, Kumamoto, 860-0002
Website Homepage

Shinto torii icon vermillion.svg Glossary of Shinto

Katō Shrine (加藤神社 Katō-jinja?) is a shrine in Kumamoto Castle, Chūō-ku, Kumamoto, Kumamoto, Japan, in which, daimyo or powerful territorial lord Katō Kiyomasa (1562–1611) is enshrined. Alongside Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin Kan, who made junshi, are enshrined.


Further information: Honmyōji
Further information: Katō Kiyomasa
Further information: Kumamoto Castle
  • In 1868, Shinto style ceremony started at Jōchibyō which was the grave of Katō Kiyomasa in Honmyōji, proposed by Nagaoka Moriyoshi.
  • In 1871, Nishikiyama Shrine was built within Kumamoto Castle at the separation of Buddhism and Shintoism. Enshrined are Katō Kiyomasa, Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin.
  • In 1874, the Nishikiyama Shrine was moved to Kyōmachi because the Kumamoto Castle belonged to the Japanese Army in 1873.
  • In 1875, the rank of the shrine was made the prefectural shrine. This system discontinued in 1946.
  • In 1877, the Nishikiyama Shrine was burned in the battle of Satsuma Rebellion. Shintai was moved to Kengun Shrine.
  • In 1884, reconstruction was started.
  • In 1886, the shrine was reconstructed.
  • In 1909, the name of Nishikiyama Shrine was changed to Katō Shrine.
  • In 1911, a Katō Shrine was built in Hawaii.
    • Closed later.
  • In 1914, a Katō Shrine was built in Seoul.
  • In 1952, Katō Shrine was designated as Religious corporation.
  • In 1962, Katō Shrine was moved to the present site in Kumamoto Castle.
  • In 1981, the Sūkeikai, an association of Katō Shrine goers, was started.


  • Spring festival: April 24
  • Summer festival: July 24
  • Katō Kiyomasa festival: the 4th Sunday of July
  • Monthly ceremonies: 1st, 15th and 24th of every month

Ōki and Kin[edit]

  • Ōki Kaneyoshi (1552–1611) was a karō of Sassa Narimasa. After the fall of Sassa, he became a karō of Katō Kiyomasa. During the Japanese invasion of Korea, his services, or merits were great. At the Sekigahara battle, he made the wife of Katō Kiyomasa escape from the Osaka house.  
  • Kin Kan was a Korean who was captured in the Japanese invasion of Korea. His real name was 良甫鑑, and Kin Kan was the name of his position. He became a fan of Katō Kiyomasa and followed his master and became a page.

Features and Memorials[edit]

Katō Shrine is located best to view the three high buildings of Kumamoto Castle.


  • Taiko bridge, placed within the campus of the shrine, was brought from Korea as a memorial, and served as the model of stone bridges.
  • A large washbasin belonged to Ooki Kaneyoshi who is enshrined.
  • A flag-holding stone was brought from Nagoya, Saga Prefecture, in connection with the invasion of Korea.

Small shrines[edit]

  • Enshrined are Sarutahiko-kami, Sugawara Michizane, Ookuninushi-kami and Ebisu-kami.


  • Pamphlet of Katō Shrine obtained on Nov. 18, 2010.
  • Kumamoto Castle and Castle Town Kumamoto seen in old photographs, Tomita Kouichi, Higo-Joudaibunka-Kenkyuukai, 1999.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 32°48′13.34″N 130°42′24.22″E / 32.8037056°N 130.7067278°E / 32.8037056; 130.7067278