Honden of Samukawa Shrine
|Location||3916 Miyayama, Samukawa-cho, Koza-gun, Kanagawa|
|Glossary of Shinto|
Samukawa Shrine (寒川神社, Samukawa jinja) is a Shinto shrine in the town of Samukawa in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. This shrine is one of the most famous shrines around Tokyo, where about 2 million people visit each year.
The origins of Samukawa Shrine are unknown. Unverifiable shrine legend states that it was founded during the reign of Emperor Yūryaku (418-479). The main kami of Samukawa Shrine is the Samukawa Daimyojin, an amalgamation of the male Samukawa-hiko no mikoto (寒川比古命) and the female Samukawa-hime no mikoto (寒川比女命). Both were local kami.
The earliest written records indicate that the shrine was rebuilt in the year 727, and its name also appears in the Shoku Nihon Kōki entry for the year 846.
From 1871 through 1946, Sumakawa was officially designated one of the Kokuhei Chūsha (国幣中社), meaning that it stood in the mid-range of ranked, nationally significant shrines.
The main festival of the shrine is held annually on September 20, and features yabusame performances. During the Setsubun festival in February, illuminated paper figures are hung from the main gate in a style similar to that of the Nebuta in Aomori Prefecture.
- Plutschow, Herbert and P.G. O'Neil. (1996). Matsuri: The Festivals of Japan. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781873410639; OCLC 36221577