Nahaka-jinja Shrine (那波加神社)

Nahaka-jinja Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture. It is classified as a Shikinai-sha (shrine listed in Engishiki laws) and its old classification of shrines was prefectural shrine (of prefectures other than Kyoto and Osaka).

The enshrined deity
Although the Futodama is the shusaijin (main enshrined deities) at present, Ukano-mitama was considered as the enshrined deity until the Meiji Period. The "Tokusen Sinmyocho" (The commentary book of many shrines) assumes that the name of the shrine, 'Nahaka', was associable with Ukanomitama no mikoto, the god of rice. The 'Nahaka Daimyojin' (honji-butsu [original Buddhist divinity] is Amida Nyorai [Amitabha Tathagata]), the twenty-ninth god of Sanjuban shin, means the enshrined deity of this shrine.

Ochiwake no mikoto, the earliest ancestor of the Ozuki clan is enshrined together (in the other opinion, Imaonosukune, the enshrined deity of Ogoto-jinja Shrine of Otsu city).

Nahaka-aramitama-jinja Shrine which enshrines Aramitama as an enshrined deity is its Massha (small shrine belonging to the main shrine). Although the relationship between the Nahaka-jinja Shrine and the Nahaka-aramitami-jinja is Honsha (the main shrine) and Massha (the subordinate shrine) at present, the Nahaka-jinja Shrine used to be the lower shrine and the Nahaka-aramitami-jinja used to be the upper shrine.

According to the shrine's biography, Ame no Futotama no Mikoto (one of the gods in Japanese mythology), the enshrined deity, had been enshrined in this place since time immemorial. Then, a deer appeared to help agricultural affairs of Ame no Futotama no Mikoto and carried rice plants, and that is the origin of the shrine's name as well as the place name of 'Nahaka' which literally means rice plant and a deer. It is said that a sanctuary was constructed in 632 and Aratamasha in 807. Since Ogotoso was given to Ozuki Imao no Sukune in 851, Hoko-ji Temple, which was constructed as Uji-dera Temple (temple built for praying clan's glory), regarding this shrine and Ogoto-jinja Shrine as ujigami (a guardian god or spirit of a particular place in the Shinto religion), became the Betto-ji Temple (a temple attached to a shrine) for this temple. Engishiki jimmyocho (a register of shrines in Japan) lists this shrine as Shikinai-shosha.

It promoted to a village shrine in October 1876, a regional shrine in January 1895, and a prefectural shrine in May 1902.

[Original Japanese]