Kanda Myoojin and Zenigata

. Taira no Masakado 平将門 (? – 940) .
. Kanda 神田 district of Edo .

Kanda Myoojin Shrine 神田明神 Kanda Myojin
Taira no Masakado

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Kanda matsuri 神田祭 (かんだまつり) Kanda festival
kigo for early summer
From May 13 to May 18
(sometimes from May 14 to 17)

The Kanda festival takes place once every two years in May. The Shintoism parade, called the Shinko-sai, features portable shrines (Mikoshi), festival floats (Dashi), big baby dolls, and many child dancers. Several thousand people take part and there are more than 70 shrines in the parade.
The main building of Kanda Myojin was built in 1934 after which the building was left exposed to the elements for 67 years. Typhoons, air pollution, and the bombs of World War II caused great damage to the shrine over the years. A scientific study concluded that immediate repair work would prevent further damage thus conserving the building while restoring its original beauty. The managers of the shrine are making every effort to preserve this beautiful artifact of Japanese culture.
source : The Kanda District

Jan. 8: "Kagura-hajime" at the sanctuary of Kanda Myojin Shrine in Chiyoda Ward. Shinto dance and music, accompanied by drums, flutes and other instruments, will be performed from 2 p.m. Kagura is the sacred dance offered to the deities.


Kanda Shrine 神田明神, Kanda-myōjin, Kanda Myojin,
formerly 神田神社 Kanda-jinja,

is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan. The shrine dates back 1,270 years, but the current structure was rebuilt several times due to fire and earthquakes. It is situated in one of the most expensive estate areas of Tokyo. Kanda Shrine was an important shrine to both the warrior class and citizens of Japan, especially during the Edo period, when shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu paid his respects at Kanda Shrine.
The three major kami enshrined are Daikokuten, Ebisu, and Taira no Masakado.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

The head of Masakado, with its arrow still sticking in it, fell down in Kanda and stayed there for seven days before it died, with its eyes open all the time.
Now the shrine is a protector deity of archery.
. Taira no Masakado 平将門 (? – 940) .


buji kaeru 無事帰る come back home safely

. Kaeru カエル 蛙 Frog Amulet - Frosch .

To make a wish
. Netsuke with a rabbit 根付お守り .


Clear Weather after Snow in the Precincts of the Kanda Myôjin
神田明神境内雪晴之図, Kanda Myôjin keidai yukibare no zu
Utagawa Hiroshige 歌川広重 (1797-1858)


Kanda is home to the Kanda Myojin shrine, devoted to Taira no Masakado , who led arebellion against the central government during the Heian period. In the Edo period, the shrine's festival was one of the three most famous in the city.

A popular Japanese television series, Zenigata Heiji, features a fictitious police patrolman (the title character) whose beat is Kanda. Near the end of every show, Heiji fells the dastardly villain by throwing a coin at him. ZENI means coin. This series was one of my favorites and Hashizo Okawa played the part of the serious Heiji very well. If England had Sherlock Holmes then Japan's answer is Zenigata Heiji. His partner was the comical Hachigoro, a devote but rather inimaginative downtown lad.
When Heiji left his home for work, his wife Shizu would take out the flintstone from the Shinto home altar and produce some sparks over his shoulders, to wish him good luck.
. hiuchi, hi-uchi 火打ち striking a fire

Taira no Masakado 平将門
is worth his own story. He was beheaded and his head seems to have taken on a life of its own in his "head mound" kubizuka. Here just a few notes about him.

In the precincts of the Shrine, there is a memorial stone with the following inscription:
Kanei Tsuuhoo 寛永通宝

良く見ると、この碑の土台は、 『寛永通宝』 をかたどったものなんです。 そしてまた、碑をかこむ石の柱にも、『寛永通宝』が彫られているんですよ~!

The Kanei Coin 寛永通宝


In Kanda, they sell some nice sweets in the form of this old coin . Here the inscription reads:
Zenigata Heij  銭型平次

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... ... ... ... ... But now, learn why Zenigata.

ZENIGATA, in the form of a Japanese coin

。。。。。。 "ware tada shiru taru"
I alone know I am content with things.

This is a saying of a Zen priest and can also be interpreted as:
"If you learn to be contend, you are rich in spirit!"

For some reason, this inscription is often found on stone basins (zenigata-tuskubai 銭型蹲つくばい) in a tea garden. Maybe to remind the guests of this saying, since a tea ceremony is also something austere, solemn and simple (never mind the hidden luxury).

To learn more about stone basins and stone lanterns,
check the pages of Mark Schumacher



The Town Kannon-Ji in Shikoku 観音寺 琴弾公園 makes its appeal with a pattern of this coin carved in the sand of the dunes close to the beach.
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It is said its origin is in the year KANEI, when the fishermen dug this pattern to please the feudal lord of the area on his visit. But there are other explanations too. This pattern is completed every year, usually after the typhoon season it has to be re-structured but is a great tourist attraction these days.

「見た人は一生お金に不自由しない」 :
Whoever looks at this pattern of the old coin will never be in want of money!

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I wonder if a look at it via your screen, just like now, will also work the magic.


風水天地の神様 Gods of the four elements



ni-juu oku koonen no gishoo
omae no B-gata

twenty billion light-years of perjury:
your blood type is "B"

. Hoshinaga Fumio 星永文夫 .   

"Blood-type B is rare in Japan; Type A is happier, but Type B carries a sense of melancholy. So, I felt my rebelliousness or revulsion could not be Type A – it must be blood-type B."
Hoshinaga Fumio (p. 173).
quote from
Poems of Consciousness, Richard Gilbert
source : Simply Haiku Summer 2008

In Japanese the blood type is called
ketsuekigata, ketsueki-gata 血液型, blood group

When the Japanese ask me their favorite question

Ketsuekigata wa nan desu ka?
(What is your blood type?)

I usually reply

My blood tpye is ZENIGATA !

(it could be A-Gata, B-Gata or AB-Gata)

. BLOODTYPE ... a TOPIC for haiku  


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Kanda festival -
the spirit of Edo
lives on

Nakayama Ishino

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. 神田 Kanda district of Edo .

Kanda Kanazawa choo 神田金沢町 Kanazawa machi district in Kanda
Soto Kanda 3chome now :千代田区外神田三丁目2-4

Before the great fire of Meireki (1657) the temple 東本願寺 Higashi-Hongan-Ji was located here.
The naka yashiki 賀金沢藩前田家中屋敷 middle estate of the Maeda Lord of the Kaga domain was located here in 1684.
In his honor it was named after the town of Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture.
Part of the road was called 明石長屋 Akaishi Nagaya, named after 明石屋吉右衛門 Akaishiya Kichiemon.

The name was lost in 1964, when it became part of Soto Kanda.

. Kanazawa 金沢. Ishikawa 石川県 .
and the culture of 前田家 the Maeda clan


Kanda was the district where most of the craftsmen lived during the time of Tokugawa Ieyasu.
. shokunin 職人 craftsman, craftsmen, artisans .




Res's Writing and Poetry said...

I do love these glimpses into Japan and Japanese Culture that you give us here, Gabi. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Best Regards ~ Res

Gabi Greve said...

I am glad you enjoy it!
Thanks for visiting, Res.

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

shinden 神田 "divine rice field"

saiden 斎田 ritual Shrine paddy

iwaida 祝田 "field for celebrations"
nukihoden, nukihoda 抜穂田 "field to pull out ripe rice ears"

suki saiden 主基斎田 divine rice paddy in the auspicious West
yuki saiden 悠紀斎田 divine rice paddy in the auspicious East


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

bi mamori 美守り

amulet for beauty

Look carefully for the White Rabbit of Inaba on the bottom.

Gabi Greve said...

In summer for the Sanno Festival and in autumn for the Kanda festival rich merchants put a golden folding screen in front or their shop, placed a wooden stand in front of it (sanpoo 三方) and put up some offerings of sacred rice wine (miki お神酒) .
A senryu from Edo
natsu no aki ninen ni miseru kinbyoobu

in summer and autumn
once every two years we see
the golden folding screens

Yanagidaru 71
The Ninth Lunar Month

Gabi Greve said...

EDO - Kanda district
Kanda Myoojin 神田明神 Kanda Myojin and Taira no Masakado 平将門


Gabi Greve said...

Kitai no doji is said to have emerged from Kanda Myojin Shrine in the heart of Edo, now Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward, in 1858 toward the end of the Edo period (1603-1867). The year was one of political instability for Japan and marked the beginning of the Ansei Purge, in which a major crackdown on dissenters by the Tokugawa shogunate's "Tairo" chief minister Ii Naosuke took place. In addition, a cholera epidemic raged across the country in a way similar to the current coronavirus crisis.

Material included in a historical record stored at the University of Tokyo's General Library contains the following passage:

"Now a very mysterious, evil spirit has risen, and it does harm to humans. If a wind of sinister nature touches water, it becomes poisonous water, and if this touches fish, they become poisoned fish. It is said that those who eat them die instantly. But then, Kitai no doji appeared at Kanda Myojin Shrine, and announced, 'To escape this calamity, draw my image and place it inside the house. If it is done, misfortune will surely not visit you,' before vanishing into the ether."