Recommended Shrines and Temples in 2023
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Shitori Shrine: The Location of Lord Takeda Shingen's Earthworks

Shitori Shrine
Shitori Shrine

I would like to introduce a shrine found at an altitude of about 800 meters at the base of Mt. Fuji.
The city of Fujiyoshida, Yamanashi Prefecture, a few minutes away from Fujikyuko Line’s Gekkōji Station on foot.
Behind Gekkōji Station, just to the back of several residences and a high school adjacent to Gekkoji, is the Shitori Shrine.

The name of the shrine is "Shitori Jinja"
I thought it was "Wabun-jinja", but that was a completely different place.
Shrines with this kanji name can be found all over Japan and are read either "shitori", "shizuri", "shidori" or "shito-ori”.
Shitori shrines are usually dedicated to Takehatsuchi no Mikoto (Takehatsuchi, the god of weaving), who is also known as Amahaikadzuchi no Mikoto or Amanohadzuchiono no Mikoto or Buwadzuchiyuu and Tanabata-hime (also called Ame no Hachijihiuri/Amenorijo). This is a shrine that deifies Tatehatsuchi-no-Mikoto as an ancestor.
Since the name of the shrine in Fujiyoshida is not listed in the list of the 20 or so Shitori shrines, I imagine that the shrine was dedicated to the god of weaving, since the city of Fujiyoshida thrived in the textile industry in bygone days.

Shitori Shrine

If tourists were not aware that there was a shrine here, they would get off at the station, pass by, and go to other tourist attractions such as the Gekkōji shopping street... it is a very hard place to notice.
Turn left on the road immediately after getting off at the station, walk a little, and turn immediately left again, and you will see the park.
When you step into the park, you will not realize that there is a shrine until you go to the back of the park.
The large grounds include play equipment such as a jungle gym, horizontal bars, swings, as well as benches and a gazebo. Surrounded by several tall trees, there is a magnificent golden torii gate.

I remember that there used to be a plastic model shop near here, but I had no idea that there was a park and shrine in such a place.
Usually, high school students pass by it on their way to school, but it is quite secluded, I think it is probably seldom visited by locals and neighbors.

Shitori Shrine  Inner Shrine
Shitori Shrine
Inner Shrine

The inner shrine is compact in size.
It is a cozy, profound, and tasteful shrine.
The doors of the main hall are painted brown, and the surrounding area is well maintained.
It may be natural, since the shrine is dedicated to a deity, but the doors are so thick that you can’t see what it looks like inside.
It is just my own imagination, but the shrine looks as if Himiko had secluded herself in here.

On both sides are koma-inu (guardian lion-dogs) and stone lanterns.
The guardian lion-dog on the right side of the shrine has its claw atop a colorful kemari (a Japanese football).

Shiratori Shrine  Koma-inu
Shiratori Shrine Koma-inu

When I visited the shrine, I heard a faint voice coming from the main hall ...
It was a cute black-and-white cat, looking at me and mewling something.
While I was praying at the shrine, the cat approached me.
It seemed to want to play with me.
It seemed to be used to people, so it must be petted by the high school students who always pass by....
The cat then jumped astride a guardian lion-dog.
It is as if the cat is protecting the shrine together with the koma-inu.

Shiratori Shrine Komainu and Cat
Shiratori Shrine Komainu and Cat
Takeda Wakamusha Sacred Monument
Takeda Wakamusha Sacred Monument

On the left side of the torii gate, there is a monument inscribed "Takeda Wakamusha Sacred Monument".
At first glance, it looks like an ordinary grave.
I was surprised why there was a monument to Takeda Shingen in such a place.
During the Warring States period, Takeda Shingen built a earthen fortifications here to block attacks from his neighbors, but it and the surrounding area were almost completely destroyed by fire due to the attack of the Imagawa clan from Suruga and others.
Also, the Takeda clan also set up a barrier in Fujiyoshida for worshippers of Mt. Fuji. some of their retainers also served as low-ranking priests, assisting the Takeda clan with financial, military, and intelligence gathering support.
I learned that Shingen Takeda had also had an impact on Fujiyoshida.

Although the main street is crowded with tourists, small shopping streets, and convenience stores, the area around the Shiratori Shrine is very quiet except when the high school students are using the gymnasium.
This is a shrine that has an indescribably mysterious aura.
Not just the main tourist attractions, but also the spending of a quiet time in the pavilion of a quiet shrine is a wonderful memory.
There is also a large temple called Gekkōji within a short walking distance.

The Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine and Fuji Omuro Sengen Shrine (town of Fuji-kawaguchiko) are associated with Lord Shingen Takeda. Further afield, in the Kofu Basin, there is Takeda Shrine, dedicated to Takeda Shingen.
A trip to one of the many shrines followed by Takeda Shingen would be nice.

Earthworks built by the Takeda clan
Earthworks built by the Takeda clan