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Hie Shinto Shrine in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, used to be a tutelary shrine of Edo Castle.

It is said that this shrine originally was a branch shrine of Hie Shrine in Kawagoe City, located north of Tokyo. When early Edo Castle was built in 1478, the original one was built in the castle grounds as a tutelary shrine. Thereafter, this was relocated to just outside of the inner moat in 1604, when Tokugawa Hidetada, the second shogun, largely reinforced this early Edo Castle, so the ordinary citizens in Edo, present Tokyo, were also able to pay a visit to this shrine. In 1659, after being reduced to ashes in a conflagration, so-called Meireki-no-Taika, this shrine was relocated again to the present site, where is at the Urakimon literally translated as the back-demon's gate of Edo Castle. Demon's gate should be purified to protect the castle. Before the Second World War, this shrine was on the list of national treasure though, the air raids during the war destroyed all the precious buildings. Present buildings were reconstructed in 1958. This shrine , however, still possesses one national treasure, a sword, and thirteen important cultural assets, swords and Japanese halberd.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,

Masahisa Takaki.


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